Friday, May 30, 2014

May Re-Make Recap

May was a crazy month - we ran our first 5K race of the season, attended our first food truck event, celebrated Mother's Day and Baby Girl started swim lessons. Work has been busy for both of us as well. And now that the weather has changed, we've been trying to spend as much time outside as possible, at least when the weather cooperates. It's been a bit off-kilter lately, with 85 degrees one day and 60 degrees the next.

It was another delicious month in the kitchen. I remade some family favorites and rediscovered a few dishes I've been wanting to remake for awhile.


I used the last two 8-oz packages of homemade chorizo to make chicken chorizo patty melts for Sunday dinner. Everyone loved them. This is one of Baby Girl's favorite meals and she was sad to learn that it was the last of the homemade chorizo. If I can find my blender I may make another batch just so we can have these sandwiches again.


I pulled these avocado enchiladas from way back in the archives. Any time someone would ask for a vegetarian Mexican recipe I'd recommend them, but it had been 5 years since we'd actually eaten them. Just as delicious as I remembered.

Refried beans

And, of course, we had refried beans on the side.

You all know how much I love these Hawaiian chicken sandwiches, so I was thrilled when Baby Girl requested them for dinner this month. I'm always grateful that she's a good eater but it makes me very proud when she actually asks me to make something specific.

crispy potatoes

And what sandwich would be complete without these roasted potatoes? I could eat these once a week (and sometimes I do).

Springtime pasta

This is another meal Baby Girl asked me to make - linguine with alfredo, asparagus, peas and poached egg. I posted this photo on Instagram because it was just so perfect. Look at that egg contrasting with the asparagus and peas. Gorgeous. This one is always a winner.

Skillet beef stroganoff

I also decided to do a new post for this skillet beef stroganoff. This is one of my most popular recipes and for good reason - it's a one-pot meal that tastes great every single time.

No recipe recap would be complete with these TRH salads. We went a few weeks without having them and I missed them.


This 3 cheese pepperoni and rosemary pizza is my new favorite pizza. Words cannot adequately describe how delicious it is. I found one more ball of dough in my freezer and this is the pizza I'm going to make with it.

Another old favorite, this mom's helper is a knock-off version of Hamburger Helper that tastes world's better.

After recommending this chipotle honey lime pork tenderloin to some friends and watching them all blog about it I knew I had to remake it. Man, oh man, is this a good one. This time I made a quick chipotle mayo to dip the pork into. Divine, especially when paired with the recipe below.

I feel like the pork tenderloin above goes so beautifully with this mushrooms and corn with cilantro recipe. Maybe it's the shared cilantro, I don't know. All I know is this is phenomenal.

Roast beef panini

We need quick meals on Wednesdays when Baby Girl has swim lessons, and these roast beef and cheddar sandwiches were perfect. I didn't cook them on a panini press this time and they were still great. I prepped everything in advance so all we had to do was assemble and eat.

The day I had this bacon broccoli mac and cheese on the menu I didn't feel like eating pasta so I left it out. The broccoli coated in the cheese sauce mixed with bacon and scallions was delicious.

crispy fish

I can't go too long without making crispy tilapia. I actually made it twice - once as sandwiches and another time as fish sticks. We all loved the fish sticks and couldn't stop eating them.

I brought back an old favorite - cheesy zucchini rice - to serve with the fish sticks. Such a great side dish. This is one of SP's favorites and now that zucchini is in season we'll be having it a few times a month, I'm sure.

Pin It!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Crunchy Baked Tacos

I love tacos but there was always something about them that made me feel like they wouldn't work for a weeknight. I think it was all the prep work for the various toppings, trying not to overfill them at the table and a general dislike of tacos made with soft flour tortillas. Then I saw these Crunchy Baked Tacos from No. 2 Pencil and it was like a light bulb went off in my head. Minimal work and crunchy shells. I was sold.

Crunchy baked tacos

Baking the shells with the meat and cheese already inside was brilliant - I hate when the cheese isn't fully melted and this solves that problem. Plus, you just take a taco from the baking dish and you're ready to eat. I kept the toppings simple - shredded lettuce, diced grape tomatoes and I found an avocado in my crisper so I diced that up, too. Some sour cream at the table and we were set.

Crunchy baked tacos

This is definitely my new favorite taco recipe. I swapped out my filling recipe but kept the method the same. The one thing I didn't like - these don't reheat well the next day. In fact, they were downright awful. My recommendation would be to only make as many as you anticipate eating. The good news is they take hardly any time to cook so you can assemble some more and bake them off quickly if you decide you want a second helping.

Crunchy Baked Tacos
Filling from A Taste of Home Cooking, method from No. 2 Pencil

1 5.8 oz box yellow corn taco shells (12 shells)
1 pound ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 clove minced garlic
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons chili powder
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 cup salsa
1/4 cup sour cream
2 cups of freshly shredded colby jack cheese
romaine lettuce, shredded
vine-ripened tomatoes, diced
sour cream
taco sauce

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and place shells in a 9x13 baking dish.

Heat a saute pan over medium heat. Add the ground beef and cook, breaking up the large chunks, until just starting to brown. Add the onion and garlic and saute until the onions are soft and the beef is cooked through. Add the cumin, chili powder, salt, pepper and tomato paste. Let cook for about 5 minutes. Off heat, add the salsa and sour cream and stir to incorporate.

Sprinkle half of the cheese in the bottom of each taco shell. Evenly distribute the ground beef in each shell. Top ground beef with remaining shredded cheese.

Bake for 8-10 minutes (mine were done at 8 minutes), or until cheese is melted and shells have started to crisp.

Remove from oven and top with lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream and taco sauce.
Pin It!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Steakhouse Baked Potatoes

We all love a good baked potato so I wanted to see if I could make it into a meal by adding steamed broccoli, crispy bacon and scallions all smothered in a delicious cheese sauce. These Steakhouse Baked Potatoes weren't quite as filling as I wanted - we like to eat a big dinner most nights - but if you have a late or hearty lunch these would be perfect as a light dinner.


Steakhouse Baked Potatoes

4 russet potatoes (about 1/2 pound each)
vegetable or olive oil
kosher salt
2 broccoli crowns, cut into florets
1 tablespoon butter
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
2 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (about 1/2 cup packed)
4 slices bacon, cooked and cut into small pieces
4 scallions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Wash and dry the potatoes and poke each potato all over with a fork (so they won’t explode).

Rub some oil over each potato. Place the potatoes on a baking sheet. Sprinkle salt over the potatoes and roll them around to cover completely.

Bake about 1 hour. Check the potatoes by inserting a fork into the center. It's done when the fork goes in easily.

While the potatoes are cooking, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season wit salt and then add the broccoli. Cook for 4 minutes, then drain and keep warm. You can also steam the broccoli.

Melt butter in a small saucepan. Sprinkle flour over melted butter; cook for 1 minute, stirring often with a whisk. Gradually add milk to the flour mixture in pan, and bring to a boil, stirring often with a whisk. Cook for 1 minute or until slightly thick, then remove from heat. Add the cheese and stir until smooth.
Pin It!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Pizza Fridays: Chicken Parm Pizza

This is one of those pizzas that came about because of leftovers. I had some leftover crispy chicken from the Crispy Chicken with Egg and Arugula and some grape tomatoes that were starting to get wrinkly. I figured I'd add in the standard pizza sauce and cheese and chicken parm pizza was born.


I had a few mushrooms leftover as well so I added those too, but I'm leaving them off the recipe below since they aren't part of a traditional chicken parm recipe.

Chicken Parm Pizza

1/2 pint grape tomatoes
olive oil
salt and pepper
1 ball of pizza dough
1/2 cup marinara or pizza sauce
4 oz mozzarella cheese, shredded
4 oz fresh mozzarella, cut into slices
1 cup crispy breaded chicken, cut into bite-size pieces
Flour, for dusting and rolling

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Arrange tomatoes on a foil-lined baking sheet; drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and toss to combine. Cook for 20 minutes or until browned and bursting.

Place a pizza stone in your oven and turn the oven up to 550 degrees.

Lay a sheet of parchment paper the size of your pizza stone on a work surface. Lightly dust with flour. Roll or stretch the dough into a 12- to 14-inch circle on the parchment paper. Spread the pizza sauce in a thin layer over the dough, leaving a half-inch margin around the outer edges. Sprinkle the shredded mozzarella over the top, then add the pieces of chicken and roasted tomatoes. Top with the sliced fresh mozzarella.

Transfer the pizza to the hot pizza stone. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until the cheese is bubbling and the crust is golden brown.

Remove the pizza from the oven, let it cool for about 5 minutes before slicing and serving.
Pin It!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Recipe Redo: Skillet Beef Stroganoff

This Skillet Beef Stroganoff has been a family favorite for years but I was never happy with the photo. Whenever I ask SP for meal ideas he usually suggests this one, so I figured it was time to take a new picture.

Skillet beef stroganoff

You've got to love one-pot meals. Cooking the pasta in the sauce adds a silkiness and everything comes together beautifully. This one has really stood the test of time.

Skillet Beef Stroganoff
America's Test Kitchen Easy Skillet Suppers

1 pound ground beef
Salt and pepper
10 ounces white mushrooms, sliced thin
1 onion, chopped fine
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups beef broth
1/3 cup brandy
1/3 pound wide egg noodles (3 cups)
2/3 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons lemon juice

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef and cook until it begins to brown. Add the mushrooms, onion, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to the skillet and cook until the liquid from the mushrooms has evaporated, about 8 minutes.

Stir in flour and cook for 30 seconds, then add both broths and the brandy. Bring to a boil, then stir in the noodles. Cook, stirring occasionally, until noodles are tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the sour cream and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Pin It!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Crispy Chicken with Egg and Arugula

I love a good crispy chicken recipe. I also love anything topped with a fried egg. When Nicole posted this recipe for Crispy Chicken with Egg and Arugula I was stoked - two of my favorite things in one recipe? Brilliant.

This was such a comforting meal with the crispy chicken, creamy mashed potatoes and arugula with a tangy dressing. The fried egg with its runny yolk was delicious with the chicken. There's nothing complicated about this recipe but it's so, so good.

Crispy Baked Chicken with Egg and Arugula Salad
As seen on Prevention RD

1 egg + 1 tablespoon water
1/2 cup panko
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
1/4 teaspoon pepper and salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 lb chicken, each breast cut in half lengthwise
vegetable or canola oil
4 eggs

Arugula Salad:
8 oz fresh arugula
1 shallot, finely minced
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon honey
1/4 teaspoon each salt and freshly ground black pepper

In one of two shallow bowls, whisk together the egg and 1 tablespoon water. In the second bowl, combine the panko, breadcrumbs, Parmesan, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.

Heat vegetable oil in a medium skillet (enough to shallow-fry the chicken). Working one at a time, dredge the chicken in the egg mixture and then in the breadcrumb mixture, coating both sides completely. Fry in batches until golden and crispy, about 5 minutes per side; remove to a paper-towel-lined plate.

Meanwhile, prepare the arugula salad. Whisk together the shallot, Dijon, vinegar, olive oil, sugar, honey, salt and pepper. Drizzle the dressing over the arugula and toss to combine.

In a small skillet, cook the eggs to your liking – over easy, medium, or hard.

To assemble, plate each chicken breast and top with 1 egg and 1/4 of the salad mixture. Serve immediately.
Pin It!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Pasta Primavera

I've been making this Pasta Primavera recipe for years but for some reason I haven't blogged it yet. It's a great way to get plenty of veggies in your diet yet it's easy enough to make on a weeknight. It can be served hot, cold or room temperature, making it great for parties. I served this to my parents for a recent Sunday dinner and the 5 of us put away the whole bowl in one sitting.

Pasta primavera

Pasta Primavera
From Giada De Laurentiis

3 carrots, peeled and cut into thin strips
2 medium zucchini or 1 large zucchini, cut into thin strips
2 yellow squash, cut into thin strips
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1/4 cup olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon dried Italian herbs or herbes de Provence
1 pound farfalle (bowtie pasta)
15 cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup grated Parmesan

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

On a large heavy baking sheet, toss all of the vegetables with the oil, salt, pepper, and dried herbs to coat. Transfer half of the vegetable mixture to another heavy large baking sheet and arrange evenly over the baking sheets. Bake until the carrots are tender and the vegetables begin to brown, stirring after the first 10 minutes, about 20 minutes total.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente, tender but still firm to the bite, about 8 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid.

Toss the pasta with the vegetable mixtures in a large bowl to combine. Toss with the cherry tomatoes and enough reserved cooking liquid to moisten. Season the pasta with salt and pepper, to taste. Sprinkle with the Parmesan and serve immediately.

Pin It!

Friday, May 09, 2014

Pizza Fridays: 3 Cheese Rosemary and Pepperoni Pizza

I've been looking for new pizza recipes lately, so when Coleen mentioned loving Tara's 3 Cheese Rosemary and Pepperoni Pizza I knew I had to try it.


All I can say is stop what you're doing and make this pizza. Now. I had a month's worth of recipes scheduled before I made this and I bumped it to the front of the line because I had to share it with you guys immediately.


This is one gooey, cheesy, delicious pizza. I love the combination of mozzarella, fontina and ricotta. The spicy pepperoni cuts through the richness of the cheese and the rosemary is the perfect final touch. There's nothing more to say - insanely, ridiculously good.

3 Cheese Rosemary and Pepperoni Pizza
As seen on Smells Like Home

Sliced pepperoni
1 ball of pizza dough
1/2 cup marinara or pizza sauce
6 oz mozzarella cheese, shredded
6 oz Italian fontina cheese, shredded
1/4 cup ricotta cheese
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
Flour, for dusting and rolling

Place a pizza stone in the oven and preheat the oven to 500° F for at least 30 minutes.

Lay three sheets of paper towel on a plate. Top with however much pepperoni you want on your pizza. Cover with three more sheets of paper towel. Place the plate in the microwave and cook for 30 seconds. Check to see how much oil the pepperoni has released, then cook for another 30 seconds. This will release most of the oil onto the paper towels rather than your pizza.

Lay a piece of parchment paper the size of the pizza stone on a work surface. Dust lightly with flour and roll out the pizza dough into a 12- to 14-inch circle. Spoon the sauce evenly over the dough leaving a ½-inch border.

Top with the mozzarella and fontina cheeses. Dollop the ricotta by the tablespoon over the cheese then add pepperoni. Sprinkle the rosemary over the top.

Transfer the pizza on the parchment paper to the pizza stone. Bake for 5-10 minutes, checking often for doneness. Remove the pizza from the oven and allow it to rest for 5 minutes before slicing.
Pin It!

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Recipe Redo: Avocado Enchiladas

Someone was looking for vegetarian Mexican recipes recently and I recommended these avocado enchiladas. Then I looked at the picture and cringed. I know enchiladas are hard to photograph but I knew I could do at least slightly better. We all love guacamole so I put these on the menu for the weekend.


These are basically guacamole-stuffed tortillas topped with homemade enchilada sauce and cheese. Nothing wrong with that. My guacamole recipe is below but you can prepare it however you would normally. I don't add garlic or jalapeno, but some people like that. Whatever you do, make the homemade enchilada sauce. It's a very simple recipe and I love the spice and tang from the chipotle in adobo. It's the perfect compliment to the creamy avocado.

I froze the leftovers in individual portions and can't wait to pull out one of those parcels for a quick lunch or dinner.

Avocado Enchiladas
Modified from ...But where do you get your protein?

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
1 can (14.5 ounces) reduced sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
1 small canned chipotle chile in adobo
3/4 cup water
4 ripe avocados, sliced in half, pit removed and flesh scooped out
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1/2 cup cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
Lemon juice, to taste
2 tomatoes, seeded and diced
Salt and black pepper to taste
8 fajita-size flour tortillas
8oz grated sharp Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
Additional cilantro leaves

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium saucepan, heat 1 1/2 tablespoons oil over medium. Add flour and cook, whisking occasionally, 1 minute. Add broth, chili powder, chipotle, and 3/4 cup water; bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Reduce heat, and simmer until lightly thickened, about 10 minutes.

Spray a glass 9x13" baking dish with cooking spray. Mash the avocado in a bowl. Add the onion, cilantro, lemon juice, tomatoes, and salt and pepper. Mix together like you're making guacamole. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Lay one tortilla on a work surface. Spoon 1/8 the avocado mixture into each tortilla and roll them up. Place tortillas in the prepared baking dish and cover with the enchilada sauce. Sprinkle the cheese over the top.

Bake for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with additional cilantro just before serving.
Pin It!

Monday, May 05, 2014

Deviled Eggs

I've been making deviled eggs for years but I've never shared my recipe here. It's fairly simple but very, very delicious. I don't measure the mayo or mustard, just go by feel and taste.

deviled eggs

I've never been good at piping the filling back into the eggs, so excuse the unstyled photos. We inhaled these at Easter. Baby Girl loves them - she had three. Next year I'm making a full dozen since there were no leftovers.


Deviled Eggs

12 eggs
yellow mustard

Put the eggs carefully in a large pot. Fill the pot with cold water so the eggs are completely covered. Put the pot on the stove and bring to a boil. Turn the heat off, cover the pot and allow to sit for 12 minutes. Drain the eggs and immediately submerge in ice water. Allow to cool completely.

Once the eggs are cool, peel them. Cut each egg in half and remove the yolks to a bowl. Mash each yolk as you add it to the bowl so the yolk is a smooth paste. Add some mayo (start with a few tablespoons) and mash into the yolks. You want the mixture to be smooth and creamy. Add more mayo as needed to get the consistency you want. Add a few squirts of mustard to taste. The more mustard you add the spicier they'll be. Season with salt and pepper.

Pipe or spoon the filling back into each egg half.
Pin It!