Tuesday, January 20, 2015

89: Quinoa Enchilada Mix

Who doesn't love a good Mexican dish, we do for sure.  I ran across this recipe and decided to try it out.  

Ingredients:

1 cup quinoa
1 can medium enchilada sauce
1 can chopped green chiles, drained
1 cup frozen corn kernals
1 can black beans, drained
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp chili powder
S&P 
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 avocado
2 tomatoes, diced

The How To:
Cook the quinoa according to package directions
Preheat oven to 375
In a medium/large cooking dish combine quinoa, enchilada sauce, chiles, corn, beans, cumin, chili powder, 1/2 cup cheese, and some S&P (to taste)
Mix it all up and let it bake for about 15-20 minutes, until the cheese has melted
Top with remaining cheese, avocado and tomatoes

We added a little sour cream to top it off.  This turned out a little bit more like a soup than I thought it would, but it still turned out pretty darn good.  And this will make AWESOME leftovers tomorrow.  This dish was Will approved! 


Monday, January 19, 2015

88: Teriyaki Salmon with Sriracha Cream Sauce

I try to make some type of seafood at least once a week, if not more often.  But usually I just make it the same way (blackened).  Every now and then I feel like trying something new and tonight was one of those nights.  I saw this recipe and was dying to try it out.  
Disclaimer, I forgot this needs to marinate so I will just write what I actually did.. 

Ingredients:

1 tbsp cornstarch
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground giner
1/4 tsp garlic powder
2 tbsp (sourwood) honey 
2 salmon filets (~1 lb total)
1/2 cup mayo
3 tbsp sriracha sauce
1 1/2 tbsp heavy cream

The How To:
In a medium sized sauce dish over medium heat - add soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger, garlic powder, honey, and 1 cup of water
Bring this mixture to a simmer
While you are waiting for that to boil...do these two steps:
1. whisk the cornstarch and 1/4 cup water and set aside
2. place the salmon skin side up in a broiler safe dish, broil on high for two minutes then easily remove the skin

Once the mixture is boiling add the cornstarch mix and stir until the sauce thickens (about 2 min)
Top your (now skinless) salmon filets with the marinade and let marinate for 30 minutes (turning the salmon about twice while you wait)

Preheat your oven to 400
Bake the salmon (with all the marinade) for 20 minutes

While you are waiting on the salmon to cook:
Whisk together mayo, sriracha, and cream 

Serve immediately and top with the sriracha sauce. 

I served this on top of stir fry noodles and edamame on the side. 


If I made this dish again I would try to actually make the marinade in advance so that it has time to cool down to room temp, and give the salmon a little more time to soak in the marinade (more than 30 minutes)
Even without marinating for long, the flavor really came through.  Both Will and I gobbled down every bit of this dish.  It will definitely be making a comeback in our house.  This dish was Will approved! 



Don't i just have the cutest husband around.. 

87: Beurre Blanc Baked Chicken


My parents stopped by on their way home from the mountains and decided to stay for dinner.  I thought it would be a good opportunity to make them try some new food, so I made my version of this recipe. 

Ingredients:
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
S&P
1/2 cup sherry wine vinegar
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil 
1/4 cup chicken broth
1/2 carton diced mushrooms (~4 oz)
2 tbsp whipping cream
3 tbsp butter, cut into 6 pieces
white pepper (to taste) 

The How To:
Preheat oven to 405
Season chicken with S&P and spray with Olive Oil
Bake for about 45 minutes

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan combine the mushrooms, vinegars (sherry and apple cider), olive oil and chicken broth
Bring this mixture to a boil and reduce for about 5 minutes
Add the cream and boil for another couple of minutes (until thickened)
Remove from heat 
Whisk in the butter, one piece at a time, waiting for the butter to melt before adding the next
Season with white pepper
Serve over the chicken


I served this with a roasted veggie quinoa mix and broiled asparagus.  My dad is a picky eater so I am always curious to hear what he thinks of my cooking.  He seemed to really like it.  It's always a good thing when picky eaters like your food.  My mom and Will both really liked it too.  Needless to say this was Will approved! 
I took the little bit that was leftover for lunch and it was even better the next day.  The sauce had time to really marinate into the chicken and quinoa.  Delicious. 


86: Apple and Gorgonzola Stuffed Pork Tenderloin


Will and I love having people over to hang out.  We decided to have a few people over for dinner and a fire.  When deciding what to make we ran across this recipe and decided to do a spin off on the green egg.  

Ingredients:
2 granny smith apples, diced
2 pork tenderloins (~4 pounds)
~3 tbsp bourbon
S&P
Olive Oil
~4 oz Gorgonzola cheese
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp butter

The How To:
Heat the butter in a medium sized sauce pan
Add the diced apples, bourbon, balsamic vinegar, and brown sugar
Let the apples cook for about 10 minutes, until they are soft 
Season with S&P (to taste)
Set the apples aside
Butterfly both the pork tenderloins
Fill the pork with the apple mixture, and gorgonzola cheese
Use twine to secure the pork (Using a long piece for wrapping the entire length of the tenderloin was the best method) 
Spray with olive oil
Season pork with S&P
Grill until the internal temperature is between 145-150

Enjoy! 

We served this with grilled veggies, quinoa and a salad (that O Beth brought).  Everything was delicious and everyone loved it.  This dish was Will (and all our friends) approved.



Tuesday, January 6, 2015

85: Honey Lime Tilapia

Will and I both love seafood and I try to make it at least once a week.  I am so happy that I am finally able to eat seafood - there was a while earlier in my pregnancy that I just couldn't deal with the smell.  After reading through several new recipes to try I decided on this one for Honey Lime Tilapia. 

Ingredients:

4 tilapia fillets
Juice from a large lime
EVOO
*1 tbsp sourwood honey
S&P
1 garlic clove, finely diced
1/4 cup whole wheat flour

The How To:
Pull out a large zip lock bag, add lime juice, about a tbsp EVOO, honey, S&P, and garlic
Add tilapia and let it marinate from 1-4 hours (this is the step I forgot)
After marinating, grab a shallow dish and mix together the flour and S&P
Dredge the fillets in the flour mixture
Heat some olive oil in a large skillet and cook the fillets until opaque ~3 or 4 minutes on each side
Serve immediately, fish tend to cool off quickly.



This dish was really easy to make, but sadly it was lacking flavor.  That could be due to the fact that I completely forgot to marinate the fish, so instead of 1-4 hours it only marinated about 25 minutes.. If I was to make this again I would add some cayenne pepper to the coating and I think it would be improved greatly.  I served this with sauteed spinach and quinoa salad.  Even lacking in flavor this dish was pretty good and was slightly Will approved.





*Now, let's talk about that sourwood honey.  Will and I spend a lot of time in the North Georgia mountains, and that happens to be home to the sourwood tree.  There are a lot of honey farms in that area, which means there is a lot of sourwood honey.  It is delicious and I highly recommend a trip to get some.  Tour one or two of the local honey farms while you're there - you'll be glad you did.  

Thursday, December 18, 2014

84: Grilled Chili Maple Glazed Pork Tenderloin


Will and I decided that we would try out a new pork tenderloin recipe, I saw this one and thought I'd try it out.  Will was involved in cooking this one, I can only take credit for the marinade - which everyone knows is what really matters.. 

Ingredients:
1.7 lb pork tenderloin 
~1/4 cup cane patch syrup 
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp garlic infused vinegar
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp cayenne pepper 
S&P 

*forgot to take a picture, again... 

The How To:
Marinate the meat with ALL ingredients at least four hours before cooking
Prep the gas grill for cooking on high 
Cook the tenderloin for 7 minutes on high over direct heat (lid closed)
Flip the meat, cook on high for 6 additional minutes over direct heat (lid closed) 
Turn the grill off (don't open lid), and let the meat sit for another 5 minutes to finish cooking through 
Pull the meat off and make sure the temp is between 145-150
Let the meat rest for 5 minutes before eating


This turned out delicious.  The marinade had turned into a semi-sweet glaze.  The meat was very moist and didn't even need any sauce.  Will and I are both big sauce people.  Will is not a huge fan of sweet meat, but he ended up liking this more than he thought.  I know we will definitely be cooking meat like this again.  Marinades are always fun to play with, so we'll see if this makes another appearance down the line.  This meal was Will approved! 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

83: Black Bean Tostadas


Recently I have been preferring quick easy meals for week dinners.  When I saw this recipe for black bean tostadas, I decided it was worth a try.

Ingredients:
juice from 2 limes
1 package frozen corn
EVOO
S&P
handful of grape tomatoes
shredded cheese
4 flour tortillas
1/2 medium red pepper, sliced
1 can black beans, drained
1 avocado, diced
sour cream 
salsa
*I forgot to take a picture of all the ingredients

The How To:
In advance (if you want) put corn in a medium size bowl, top with fresh lime juice, avocado and sliced tomatoes
Season with S&P and a little EVOO.
Mix and cover and refrigerate until you are about ready to eat
Preheat oven to 475
Arrange four tortillas on a baking sheet and top 
with black beans, red pepper, and cheese 
Bake until golden and crisp - about 8-10 minutes
Top with corn relish, salsa and sour cream
Serve and enjoy! 

Will made fun of this dish from the moment I put it in the oven.  "How are you supposed to eat that?" "Why are you doing it like that?" When I pulled it out and put it on the table he said,"It's like you took everything good about a taco or a burrito and screwed it up."  After he gobbled it all up he said that he would rather have a taco, with meat included.  He ended up giving this almost two thumbs down, but I think he was being a little harsh.  The corn relish is awesome, I will be eating the leftovers with some chips.  But none the less, this meal is NOT Will approved.



Monday, December 15, 2014

82: Tilapia Piccata



If you are looking for a quick easy dinner, fish is your best bet.  After looking through several recipes on pinterest (best site ever) I decided on this one for tilapia piccata.

Ingredients:

2 tilapia fillets
s&p to taste
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
splash of sherry - or dry white wine
1/4 c chicken stock
1/2 lemon (juice)
1/2 lemon (thinly sliced)
2 tbsp capers


The How To:
Season fish with S&?P
Heat some oil in a pan
Add fish and cook until flakes easily with a fork, then set aside
Deglaze the pan by adding sherry (or wine)
Add chicken stock, lemon (juice and slices), capers and simmer until it reduces by about half
Stir in the butter 
After butter is melted pour over the tilapia and serve! 


Easy, peasy.  This whole meal probably took me about 15 or 20 minutes.  I served this with a caesar salad and some garlic bread and it was delightful. Will and I both gobbled this down so fast that we hardly even talked about it.  If you don't like lemon, you probably will not like this dish.  But, since we both do - this will be making a comeback in my kitchen.  Needless to say, this dish was Will approved! 




In other news, we found out we are having a BOY two weeks ago and couldn't be happier. Inman William will be joining us in April.




Monday, November 17, 2014

81: Crispy Cheesy Chicken

On the way home from work today (and every other day) I talked to my mom.  Today we talked about some quick and easy suggestions of what we could have for dinner.  She said that I could just coat some chicken with some breadcrumbs and whatever other spices or seasonings that I wanted.  So, that is exactly what I did.. 

Ingredients:

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
skim milk - just enough to dip the chicken
1/2 -1 cup panko 
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
S&P
pinch cayenne pepper

The How To:
Preheat oven to 405
Cut each chicken into about 3 or 4 strips, depending on size
Put some milk in the bottom of a bowl - big enough for your chicken strips
Mix the panko, cheeses, S&P and cayenne in a separate plate
Dip each piece of chicken in the milk until coated
Then dip each chicken strip in the panko mixture until coated
Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place the strips on the lined baking sheet
Bake the chicken for about 35 minutes, or until brown
Serve immediately

I also made a little honey mustard mixture using honey and dijon mustard that went perfectly with this dish.

Will and I both loved this dish. It was so easy and fast, I would definitely make this again. This is definitely Will approved! 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

80: Beer Cheese Soup

Last week I was up in Wisconsin for a work trip.  One of my colleagues, Nick Pokorny, suggested that I try a beer cheese soup. It's something that has been on my radar as a dish to try for a while, so once I returned home I looked up several versions of the soup and decided to make my own.  You could totally make this in the crock pot, but I was lazy this morning and didn't have time to cut up the onion and garlic.. so this is what I did instead... I can't wait to hear what my WI buddies think!

Ingredients:
1/2 lb thick-cut bacon slices, cut into small strips
2 Tbs. unsalted butter
1/2 large onion, diced
1 can carrots, drained and diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
12 oz pale ale
2 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
1 2/3 cups milk
1/3 cup heavy cream
2 cups chicken broth
3 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

The How To:
In a medium sized pan, cook the bacon until brown
In a dutch oven, heat the butter and cook the onion and carrots until onions are opaque (about 3-4 minutes) 
Add the garlic and let it cook about a minute
Add flour and combine
Add the beer and cook for 3-4 minutes, while stirring
Add worcestershire, milk, broth - bring to simmer
Cover and let simmer about 10-12 minutes

Slowly add cheese while stirring constantly

Serve with pretzel rolls or whole wheat loaf for dipping.



Tonight was a perfect night for soup, it's supposed to be in the 20s.  Will was really excited to try it out, he said that this was his type of comfort food.  He really loved the soup and even gave it two thumbs up! This dish is Will approved!  Thanks Nick for the recommendation.  





















Lucy even wanted to try it... 


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