Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Recipe Share: Egg and Veggie Scramble with Toast

This is one of my favorite breakfasts. It's easy, healthy, and delicious. It is also very satisfying to know that you're eating veggies in your breakfast!!  And you'll find that you feel full for quite awhile after eating this!
Ingredients:
1/3 - 1/2 C. Chopped veggies (any kind you like - I used mushrooms, red, yellow, and orange peppers, and onions)
2 eggs
2 Tbsp. shredded cheese (any kind you like - I used Monterey Jack)
1 tsp. olive oil
fresh flat leaf parsley or cilantro, chopped for garnish
whole grain bread (I like to use Sara Lee's 45 Calories and Delightful bread)

Directions:
Heat your oil in your saute pan over medium heat. Saute all your vegetables until tender, 3-4 minutes. Mix your eggs together in a bowl with a fork or whisk. Add in your eggs and cheese to the pan with your veggies. Stir until firm, but not brown. Add salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with parsley or cilantro. Toast your bread, and enjoy together!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Recipe Share: Spicy Chicken, Eggplant, and Caramelized Onion Quesadillas

These Bobby Flay quesadillas are so delicious. The chicken is full of flavor from being marinated, and the veggies add so much flavor, too. Add some yummy guacamole and salsa, and you'll be one happy lady or man.
(I made mine with grilled mushrooms instead of eggplant, since I love mushrooms and had them on hand.)
 What the filling looks like if you make them open faced... so delicious!
Ingredients

Marinade:

1/4 cup olive oil
2 jalapenos, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 (8-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breast
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Caramelized Onions:

2 large red onion, finely sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Grilled Eggplant:
1 Japanese eggplant, sliced lengthwise into 1/4-inch thick slices
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

Package of sliced portabella mushrooms or white mushrooms (If you decide to use mushrooms in addition to or instead of eggplant)


Quesadilla:

9 (8-inch) flour tortillas
3/4 cup grated monterey jack
3/4 cup grated white cheddar 
Ancho chile powder
Mixed Tomato Salsa, recipe follows

Directions:

In a blender, combine the marinade ingredients and blend until smooth. Place the chicken in a medium bowl, pour the marinade over it, cover, and refrigerate for 4 hours.


Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until soft and caramelized, about 20 to 25 minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar and cilantro and cook for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside.


Preheat grill pan. Brush eggplant with oil on both sides and season with salt and pepper to taste. Grill for 2 minutes on each side. Remove and coarsely chop.

Or if you choose to do mushrooms like I did, simply saute them on medium heat in a pan with a little olive oil and butter. Don't crowd them, space them apart in the pan. Turn them over when browned on one side, and finish off other side. Lay them out on a paper towel when done, sprinkle with salt.


Preheat grill pan over high heat. Remove chicken from marinade and season with salt and pepper to taste. Grill for 4 to 5 minutes on each side until cooked through. Let rest for 5 minutes and slice thinly on the bias. Set aside.


Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Place 6 tortillas on a large un-greased baking sheet. Divide the cheese, chicken, onions, and eggplant among the 6 tortillas and season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Top each quesadilla with another tortilla. Brush the tops with olive oil and sprinkle with ancho chile powder.

Bake for 8 to 12 minutes, or until the quesadillas are slightly crisp and the cheese has melted. Cut into quarters and garnish with the Mixed Tomato Salsa.

You can also make these on the stove top in a sautee pan. Just compile your quesadilla in the pan and cook on medium high heat for a few minutes and then carefully flip over and cook on the other side until cheese is melted and tortillas are crisp.

Mixed Tomato Salsa:

8 cherry tomatoes, quartered
8 yellow cherry tomatoes, quartered
8 yellow pear tomatoes, halved
8 red pear tomatoes, halved
1 jalapeno, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Yield: 8 servings

My Guacamole:
3-4 ripe avocadoes, mashed
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1-2 tsp fresh lime juice
garlic salt to taste
2-3 Tbsp of salsa or pico de gallo
(Taste as you mix, and alter amounts as needed)

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Recipe Share: Basil Burger with Grilled Corn on the Cob

For those of you that have seen Next Food Network Star, this recipe comes from a winner on that show, Melissa D'Arabian. I really like her, and I really loved this recipe. The basil sauce and using an English Muffin for the bun made this burger so unique and yummy. It's a perfect summer time meal. 
Here's the printable recipe.

Ingredients:
1 1/4 lbs. ground beef (80% lean)
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella
4 English muffins, halved horizontally and toasted
1 tomato, sliced and lightly salted
2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan

Basil Sauce:
1 green onion, chopped
3 Tbsp. roughly chopped basil
1 large clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup mayonnaise
3 Tbsp. sour cream
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions:
Quarter the beef into even portions. Form into burgers, indenting the middle slightly with your thumb. Season with salt and pepper, and brush lightly with vegetable oil. Cook on a hot grill until charred on the outside and pink on the inside, about 4 minutes per side. Two minutes before removing the burgers, top the burgers with the mozzarella cheese.

Place the toasted muffins on a serving platter. Place the tomato slices on the bottom, and top each with cooked patties. Spread a tablespoon or two of the basil sauce on each bun top and sprinkle with a little Parmesan cheese. Serve extra basil sauce on the side for dipping.

Perfect Basil Sauce:
Blend the green onion, basil, garlic, mayonnaise, sour cream, and Worcestershire sauce in a blender until creamy and pale green. Taste the sauce and season with salt and pepper, if needed.

How I make my grilled corn:
Husk the corn, and place directly onto grill grates that are heated on medium. Turn them every 2 minutes for a total of 10-12 minutes. When the corn gets some color from the grill and the kernels look plump, they are done. Butter, salt and pepper to taste. 

Enjoy!!

Friday, August 26, 2016

Recipe Share: Shredded Buffalo Chicken Sandwich with Blue Cheese Aioli

This sandwich recipe from Kelsey Nixon has the perfect balance of flavors and textures. I love it so much, the first time I made it for dinner I ended up eating it for lunch and dinner the next day, too. I couldn't get enough!!  It's not too spicy, but has enough kick to satisfy. I also love that you make this meat in your crockpot. It's so easy to just throw everything in, and then assemble your sandwiches at dinnertime.
Ingredients:
1/4 C. hot sauce
1/4 C. Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp. molasses
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 yellow onion, chopped
14 oz. can tomato sauce
2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
salt and freshly ground pepper
6 hamburger buns, split and toasted (I like to eat it on an Orowheat sandwich thin bun)
Celery leaves, for serving
Blue Cheese Aioli, for serving, recipe follows

Blue Cheese Aioli:
1/2 C. crumbled blue cheese
1/3 C. mayonnaise
1 tsp. fresh tyme leaves
1 clove garlic, minced
(I usually add a few teaspoons of milk just to loosen up the aioli a bit, but either way it's great.)
Combine all ingredients and mix well. (I also add pepper to mine.)

Directions:
Add the hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, molasses, garlic, onions, and tomato sauce to a slow cooker and stir to mix ingredients together.

Sprinkle the chicken with salt and freshly ground pepper liberally and add chicken to the slow cooker, coating evenly with the sauce. Cover and cook on low until chicken is tender, 4-6 hours.

Transfer chicken to a large bowl and shred, using 2 forks. Return the shredded chicken to the slow cooker and toss to coat with the sauce.

Toast your buns, and compile your sandwiches by smearing each side of the buns with blue cheese aioli and then topping one half with celery leaves. Then add the chicken and enjoy!

Try these soon. You will love them and may eat them over and over like I did.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Gallery walls in our living room.

My family moved back to AZ a year ago. One thing I love about moving (and probably the only thing I love) is getting to decorate a new space. In our living room we have a long blank wall, and above our couch, we have another blank wall. I wanted to do a floor to ceiling gallery wall on one and a simple gallery above the couch. I went to Hobby Lobby and found a few great items.
 How great is this?? I fell in love with it.
 Letters for each of our kids' first names and a "W" for our last name. (Sidenote: Our kids names are Cohen, Ren, and Avery. I always thought I'd have another girl and wanted to name her Paige. But then my husband pointed out that we'd have C,R,A,P then!) Haha.
I got a new rug, lamps, and a few new pillows for our front room from Target.
I loved this lamp's base and color. And how perfect is this wooden stilt bird?? I have always loved birds ever since I took a bird watching class in college, and well, this guy had to come home with me. And the framed art is a drawing of the Mesa, Arizona temple, where my husband and I were married. I loved its simplicity, and it just felt right there.
And here's the gallery I came up with for above our couch.
The pillows on the right are some of my all time faves I bought from West Elm last year. I mean, a seagull wearing red high tops and sunglasses is just my jam. I based the whole design and feel of the room on this one pillow. It's like an understated beachy-cool vibe.
The rug color is similar to the high tops. And the yellow accents are like his legs.
(Please excuse the grass on my rug.. my boys had just pummeled through there like boys do. And, yes, I need to vacuum now.)
 I took the pics of the seagull and palm trees myself and framed them with frames I got at Walmart. The @ sign is one I bought at Target in their craft section. I spray painted it white and hung it up with those great velcro command strips.
 Isn't it soothing? I love lying on that couch and just staring up at it. (Until my kids realize where I am, and they dog pile me or scream for a gogurt. It really is peaceful while it lasts though.)
 On the wall above the lamp, I had my twin sis, Jaime, design a print for me that I framed.
It has one of my favorite scripture quotes on it. Every time I read it, I smile.
On the opposite side of the window, I have hung our square seashell mirror that I bought at Crate and Barrel years ago. I got it when Jason and I were first married.

And on the long entry wall, here's what I've come up with so far. It's a work in progress. I really would like to add to it 'til it's floor to ceiling, but I am at a stand still for now.
 The frames and accessories are from all different places: Target, Walmart, Ikea, Hobby Lobby.. and some of the pictures were professionally taken, while others I took myself. I love this particular spot I have my parents' wedding photo in. They looked so classy and happy. I love it.
 Don't mind our Elf on the Shelf. He just hung out in our "W" for the day.
A dear friend of mine made that awesome "Wallace" wood board. It's my newest addition to the wall, and I adore it.
Now that our kids will be going back to school soon, I'm starting to daydream about finishing my wall gallery... and maybe even doing something with my wall above my dining room table. We'll see..

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Recipe Share: Creamy Farfalle with Veggies

I got this delicious recipe from a cookbook that was created by a group of women I attended church with years ago. A friend, Amanda, submitted it. It is so easy and so versatile. I make it with a variety of veggies, and it always turns out perfect. If you have a hankering for pasta, this should be on your plate!
Ingredients:
1 lb. farfalle (bowtie) pasta, cooked al dente (with some pasta water reserved for later)
5 Tbsp. butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1 lb. mushrooms, sliced
AND/OR chicken, grilled and cut into bite size pieces
1 lb. asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 Cup Mascarpone cheese
pinch of ground nutmeg
1/4 Cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 head roasted garlic (If I'm too lazy to roast my garlic, I'll just mince some up and put it in with the onion.)
(I added fresh chopped tomato to mine in the above pic)
fresh parsley, chopped
Directions:
Melt butter and saute onions until translucent. Add mushrooms and saute about 5 minutes. Add asparagus and saute an additional 5 minutes. Add in the pasta, stir in Mascarpone cheese and nutmeg and toss until coated. Add roasted garlic. Add reserved pasta water, 1/4 Cup at a time, until moistened. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and parsley.
So delicious! Try it soon!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Recipe Share: Glazed Mini Meatloaves with Mashed Cauliflower

My kids have recently grown very fond of meatloaf. But, as much as I like it, too, I hate that it takes forever to cook!! So, when I found this recipe for mini meatloaves, I was thrilled. The glaze you put on the top is perfect, and it tastes great with some mashed cauliflower.
Ingredients:
17-20 saltine crackers, crushed fine (about 2/3 cup)
1/4 cup whole milk
1/3 cup minced fresh parsley
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 large egg
1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 pounds ground meat (My kids prefer beef, but I've used turkey or beef and pork as well.)
2 teaspoons oil (I used canola oil)

Glaze:
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
4 teaspoons cider vinegar

Directions:
Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 425 degrees. Stir cracker crumbs, milk, parsley, Worcestershire sauce, egg, mustard, onion powder, garlic powder, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper together in a large bowl. Add ground meat and combine until uniform. Shape mixture into oval loaves. (I like to use the side of my hand to "cut" my meat into equal parts in the bowl. I cut my  meat into 8 equal parts.)

Heat oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until the oil is rippling. Add meatloaves (without letting them touch sides) and brown well on one side, 3-5 minutes. Carefully flip loaves over and tidy up edges using a spatula, if necessary.
Brown on this side for another 2-3 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix glaze ingredients together until smooth. Transfer mini meatloaves to a foil-lined baking pan and spoon the glaze over the top of each meatloaf. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until the center of the loaf registers 160 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. You can always cut it open, too, to see if they're cooked all the way through.

Serve with mashed cauliflower, mashed potatoes, or whatever floats your boat. Enjoy!