Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Soy Cilantro Roasted Potatoes

I am always looking for new ways to prepare potatoes for our dinner. I get tired of the same old, same old mashed potatoes or plain roasted potatoes and was excited when Nichole of Cookaholic Wife posted this recipe on our cooking board.  Our farmer's market is bursting with potatoes and cilantro right now and this seemed like the perfect recipe to try. 

This recipe is very easy to prepare and perfect for a busy weeknight. The potatoes smell fantastic while they are roasting! The soy and cilantro gave such wonderful aromas I could hardly wait to dig in. 

Ron and I both loved these potatoes. The soy sauce allows for a nice salty crust on the potatoes and the cilantro gives a fresh flavor. It is funny because these were originally a mistake made by Nichole! I am happy she made it because these are delicious! The only change I made was a slight increase to the cilantro because it is one of our favorite flavors and I roasted it with the potatoes over sprinkling it on top after.

We are headed to Door County this afternoon and our first stop is the beach to get our toes in the water ass (or diaper) in the sand! 


Ingredients

1 1/2 lbs red potatoes, scrubbed and quartered
2 Tbl olive oil 
3 Tbl soy sauce 
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
salt and pepper, to taste


Instructions

Preheat the oven to 450. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray.

In a large bowl toss potatoes with olive oil, soy sauce, salt, pepper and cilantro.

Spread potatoes out onto the baking sheet and cook for 30-40 minutes, flipping half way through, until potatoes are tender. 

Monday, July 28, 2014

Weekly Meal Plan 7/28 - 8/3

Happy Monday! 

I seriously shouldn't even post a meal plan this week because we are going to be in Door County all week.  However, we are going to a few fun restaurants and I thought I would post them for you to take a peek at in case you are planning an adventure up there anytime soon. 

This weekend past weekend was really fun! My family was in town for the weekend for my cousin Shane's wedding and it was such a blast. We all got together at my parent's house on Friday night for pizza and Thai food (odd combo, but we were hungry for different things). Saturday was the wedding, and Sunday we went out for Pho before they headed back to Chicago. 

This week I full intend on relaxing and playing with Kellen. Vacation time is so precious to me and I can't wait to get to it! Have a great week! 

Here's what is on tap: 

Monday: Out w/ my friend Emily to Bleu
Tuesday: Door County- Grilling Chicken
Wednesday: Door County- Out to Parador or Whistling Swan
Thursday: Door County-Out to Nightingale 
Friday: Door County - Grilled Steaks
Saturday: Door County - Grilled Brats
Sunday: Tatertot Casserole and Green Beans


Friday, July 25, 2014

Blueberry Zucchini Bread

It is no secret that our family loves weekly (or sometimes bi-weekly) trips to the farmer's market.  Our garden got away from us this year due to our two week trip to France and we love that we can still farm fresh produce a few times a week.  This past weekend I pick up some local zucchini and fresh Michigan blueberries.  I really love sauteing zucchini in a bit of olive oil with a sprinkle of sea salt- perfect side.  However, I wanted to try something different with zucchini and when I saw Eva's recipe for zucchini blueberry bread on our cooking board I was sold. One of my favorite breaks is my zucchini banana crumble bread and I was excited to try this recipe.  I also really liked that this recipe omitted any oils and used applesauce instead.  I was able to pull some from our freezer that I made last fall from our apple trees. I also love any excuse to use our homemade vanilla extract. I use a bit of rum in ours and love the flavor. 

My entire family loved this bread. Kellen adores blueberries and was very excited to see them. He picked up his bread and loudly exclaimed "ah booooburrrrrr".  Please don't grown up because you are too adorable. 

Tonight my entire family is in town for my cousin's wedding on Saturday afternoon. We are heading to my parents house and ordering pizza. I am bringing a roasted beet and goat cheese salad for a side.  I am so excited to see everyone and celebrate! 


Ingredients

2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar; lightly packed
3/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour (you can substitute all purpose)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup shredded zucchini
1 cup fresh blueberries (+ a few extra to sprinkle on top)


Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease an 8.5 x 4.5 loaf pan.

In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugars. Fold in the zucchini. Gently mix in the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon. Gently fold in the blueberries and transfer to the prepared loaf pan. Top with additional blueberries. 

Bake 55-65 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a knife inserted in the center of a loaf comes out clean. Allow bread to cool completely before removing it from the loaf pan. 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Caprese Macaroni and Cheese

There are a few dishes that pop up on my reader and I immediately know that I am going to make it as soon as possible.  One of these dishes was Caprese Macaroni and Cheese from Stephanie Cooks.  I love caprese salads and sandwiches, and thought a pasta sounded absolutely divine. I stayed pretty close to the original with the exception of increasing the milk over using a heavy cream. and  increasing the amount of noodles from 1/2 pound to three quarters pound.  I also opted to stir in the tomatoes and basil over topping the finished product. I knew that Kellen would be more likely to eat it as long as everything was mixed together. 

The result was delicious and gave the familiar caprese flavors, but in a warm pasta. I serve this with grilled garlic scape pesto shrimp and it was a perfect combination! Kellen absolutely loved the pasta and ate two small portions for dinner and a bit more for lunch the following day. 

We actually have a free night tonight! I think we are going to take advantage by grilling a few steaks and potentially taking Kellen for a few rides and Bay Beach.  Next week I start my vacation and I could not be more excited to have a few days off to enjoy summer with my family! 


Ingredients

3/4 pound elbow noodles
2 tbsp butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp flour
1 1/2 cup milk
2/3 cup chicken stock
1 tsp garlic salt
Black pepper
1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 cup diced tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil


Instructions

 Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside. 

In a large sauce pot melt the butter and garlic and saute for 1-2 minutes. Whisk in the  flour until a thickened paste forms.

Slowly pour in the milk and chicken stock while whisking continuously. Add garlic salt and black pepper. Bring to a slow simmer and allow it to slightly thicken.

Stir in mozzarella cheese and stir until completely melted. Add the noodles and stir till combined. Next, gently stir in the basil and tomatoes.  Serve immediately. 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Feta and Garlic Scape Pesto Pasta Salad

My in-laws came over for dinner on Sunday to help evaluate an uneven spot on our deck.  I wanted to use up the rest of my garlic scape pesto before freezing the remainder for later. Ron and I love pasta salads with a pesto dressing and I thought it would be a delicious way to feed the crowd.  I kept the recipe pretty simple and used a basic mayo based, but opted for greek yogurt over sour cream.  I think you could easily use a basil based pesto in this recipe and have lovely results. 

Our family loved this recipe and it was a perfect side for our cook out.  Kellen has started to get into liking noodles and thought it was delicious as well. However, the brats always steal the show for him- he is a Wisconsin boy! 

Tonight we have volleyball and I am excited because we have been on a winning steak. However, I probably just jinxed us....oops.  I am certainly looking forward to having a beer or two.....who am I kidding or three....


Ingredients

1 lb shaped pasta
1 1/2 cup mayo
1 cup greek yogurt
6 oz crumbled feta
3/4 cup halved cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup sliced black olives
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp sugar


Instructions

Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain and set aside. 

In a medium bowl, whisk mayo, yogurt and pesto together.  In a large bowl, add pasta, tomatoes and olives. Add pesto dressing and stir gently to evenly coat. Add feta and gently stir until  the cheese is evenly mixed in to the pasta.

Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate till you are ready to serve.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Peach and Plum Galette

Right now the farmer's market is chucked full of peach from the south. It is one of my favorite things to buy each week because they are such a rarity for us the remainder of the year.  I am always looking for different ways to prepare the peaches and I book marked this recipe from Confessions of a Foodie Bride  because it looked absolutely amazing and easy (as we know this is a must when it comes to me and baking).  The only change I made was to use a little course raw sugar in place of granulated because I love the crunch it gives to dough when baked.  We served this with a scoop of vanilla ice cream over the top, bit I also tried it with a bit of my salted caramel gelato and it was delicious. Kellen gave this a thumbs up as well which is not surprising because he adores peaches.  One of Kellen's new favorite things to do is stand next to the fridge or counter and yell "maaaa peeaacccch maaaa peeeeaaccchhh!!"....... ask and you shall receive my boy. 


Ingredients

3 medium peaches, skin-on and sliced
3 plums, skin-on and sliced
1 pie crust (I used a pre-made from our bakery, but you could make our own)
Flour
1 egg whisked with 1 Tbl water
1 1/2 Tbl raw sugar


Instructions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Stretch (or roll if you made your own) your pie crust on lightly floured parchment paper.

Arrange the sliced fruit working out from the center in a spiral. Make sure to leave about 2 inches boarder around the outside to fold over. 

Fold the crust edges up and over the fruit (I tucked as I circles the fruit). 

Transfer the parchment to a baking sheet.
Brush dough with egg wash and sprinkle evenly with sugar.

Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the fruit center is bubbly and the crust is golden brown.

Top with ice cream and serve. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Weekly Meal Plan 7/21 - 7/27

Happy Monday! 

This weekend was super low key and wonderful. On Friday we went for steaks and visited with friends from Madison.  Kellen tried a few bites of steak for the first time and gave it a rave toddler review of "mmmmm!".  Saturday we went to  the Farmer's Market with our friends and picked up lovely produce and a beautiful bunch of colorful flowers.  After the market, we bummed around and caught up on house work before grilling our dinner after the afternoon heat died down.  On Sunday, we went for breakfast at one of our favorite spots and prepared dinner for Ron's parents. Ron's dad came to look at our deck, which will thankfully be an easy fix, and help cut down a dead tree (yay for firewood!).  Ron's mom and I played with Kellen and did a few laps around the yard to watch the tree chopping in action.  Later in the evening we feasted on brats, beans, pasta salad, watermelon, grilled corn and my mother-in-law's delicious cake with fresh raspberries.  Perfect lazy weekend. 

This week is a pretty slow, but it is followed by an exciting weekend! My cousin is getting married and my entire family will be in town. I am really excited to be with everyone and go to a wedding- I love weddings! I am also hoping to get in a trip to the farmer's market to stock up before our week in Door County (yes- an entire week...so excited!). 

Here is what is on tap: 

Monday: Rosemary Ranch Grilled Chicken, Leftover Pasta Salad and Fresh Peas
Tuesday: Chicken Chorizo Patty Melts, Raw Veggies and Fruit
Wednesday: Crab Cakes, Old Bay Roasted Potatoes and Fresh Fruit
Thursday: Grilled Steak,  Cheesy Zucchini Rice and Green Beans
Friday: Dinner with Family
Saturday: Shane and Erika's Wedding
Sunday: Loaded Potato and Chicken Casserole and Green Beans

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Cranberry BBQ Chicken Sandwiches with Crispy Shallots

Time for July's Crazy Ingredient Challenge!

The theme for this month is cranberries and shallots. I was a little disappointed because cranberries are not in season right now and there is so many different types of wonderful summer produce.  However, I enjoy the challenge of creating a new recipe and began to brainstorm different ideas involving canned or frozen cranberries.  My first thought was a barbecue sauce, but I wanted to make something that would be an easy weeknight meal for my family.  I like to use my crockpot in the summer because it allows for flexibility around dinner time.....i.e. more time to play outside! 

I decided to create an sweet and tangy bbq sauce with canned cranberries, bbq sauce, mustard and hot sauce in my crockpot with chicken breasts. My next challenge was to use the shallots and I thought topping the chicken sandwiches with crispy shallots would give a perfect crunch.  I sliced the shallots thin and lightly tossed them is a seasoned flour blend.  I do not normally fry foods at home (I hate the mess), but these thin shallots were so easy and there was hardly any spatter mess to clean. A note of caution, the shallots will burn easily and it is important to babysit them while they fry because they can be over done very fast. 

Ron and I loved these sandwiches! The cranberry gives a sweet little tang, but works well with them rest of the flavors. The sirircha adds a bit of heat, but it is very mellow when paired with the smokey bbq. The onions give a salty crunchy to the sandwich and are the perfect topper for this sandwich. 

If you are interested in joining our challenge, stop over to Dawn of Spatulas on Parade to say hello and to get more information. 



Ingredients

1 1/2 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 can cranberry sauce
1 cup BBQ sauce
1 Tbl Dijon mustard
1 tsp sriracha (or other hot sauce)
1/2 cup chicken stock

for shallots:
4-5 large shallots, peeled and sliced into thin rings
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 1/2 Canola Oil

6 sandwich buns, sliced in half


Instructions

Whisk cranberry sauce, bbq, mustard, sriracha and chicken stock in a medium bowl. Place chicken into the crockpot and pour the sauce over the chicken. Toss to coat. Cook on low for 6-7 hours. Remove chicken from the crockpot and shred (I like to use my KitchenAid mixer for this, but you can do it by hand).  Place chicken back into the crockpot and stir to make sure it soaks in all the sauce. Set to warm while the onions are prepared. 

Heat oil in a deep skillet till over medium high heat. In a medium mixing bowl, mix together flour, cumin, salt and pepper. Toss sliced onions into flour and make sure they are evenly coated. Allow oil to almost come to a simmer, but is not smoking. Fry shallots in small batches to prevent sticking. Each batch will take about 2 minutes. Once golden brown, remove shallots and place on a paper towel lined plate. Sprinkle with additional salt if desired. 

Place a portion of the chicken onto the bun, top with crispy shallots and enjoy! 

Friday, July 18, 2014

Grilled Shrimp with Garlic Scape Pesto

One thing I really love about the summer is the farmer's market.  In Green Bay we have two- one on Wednesday night and one on Saturday morning.  I love walking around and looking at all the fresh produce. I love the farming culture of Wisconsin and the eagerness of people to get their hands dirty growing their own health meals.  I recently posted a recipe for garlic scape pesto and have been using it on all different types of things.  I even have a bit frozen for when the cold weather hits.  

I decided to grill a few skewers of shrimp flavored with pesto to go with a caprese macaroni and cheese. The result was amazing. The garlic scapes give a delicious and fresh flavor to the shrimp. The pesto holds up great next to the slightly charred shrimp, but still provides a bit of sharp garlic flavor. This recipe would work very nicely with a basil pesto (or another herb) as well.  Ron and I really enjoyed the shrimp and the grill allows for quick and easy cook time.

Tonight we are headed to the Union Hotel for dinner with friends from out of town. They are known for their steaks and we will certainly be par-taking. They also have amazing saute mushrooms for a side and I can't wait to top my steak with them (perhaps a bit of blue cheese as well!). Hope everyone has a wonderful Friday and an even better weekend!


Ingredients

1 - 1 1/4 lb raw shrimp, peeled and cleaned
3 Tbl garlic scape pesto
Bamboo Skewers


Instructions

Soak bamboo skewers for 30 minutes prior to grilling.

Place shrimp in a medium bowl and gently toss it in the pesto to evenly coat all of the shrimp.

Thread 5-6 shrimp through each skewer from top to tail.  

Heat grill to medium and grill shrimp 2 minutes on one side, flip and finish for an additional 1 minute.  Remove from grill and serve. 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Thai Popcorn & Peanut Crusted Chicken with Peanut Sauce

Time for July's Imprvo Cooking Challenge! 

The theme for this month is popcorn and peanuts. I loved the idea of this theme because of the tie to baseball and for the versatility to be creative with the ingredients.  I was really torn on if I wanted to try a baseball type treat like crackerjack, or go for a Thai inspired dish.  I ultimately decided to create a Thai inspired main dish for this challenge. I knew that I wanted to make a peanut sauce and thought that I could create a crispy crust for chicken to go with it.  I used my food processor to get a fine breading using popcorn and peanuts to dredge my chicken. I also used coconut milk  and ginger to dip prior to dredging to keep the chicken juice and flavorful, but allow the breading to stay in place.  The peanut sauce was Thai inspired using peanut butter, coconut milk, curry paste and fresh basil. 

The verdict in our house was two thumbs up. The chicken did not get as crispy as I envisioned, but neither of us minded. The breading stayed on nicely and it was very flavorful. I could taste all of the different components, but they blended together really well.  I think adding a bit of regular bread crumbs to the popcorn and peanut would make it a touch crispier.  The sauce was absolutely delicious and makes the dish.  I found myself going back for more to make sure there was sauce with each bite. Warming of the sauce is key because it thins the peanut butter. I served this along side a Asian style vegetable blend and saute zucchini.  We will definitely be making this meal again! 

If you want to join the fun of the Improv Cooking Challenge visit Kristen of Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker for details! 

Next month's theme is beans and bacon....a favorite combo of mine. 


Ingredients

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 egg
1/2 cup coconut milk (I use full fat)
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup roasted lightly salted peanuts
2 cups plain popcorn

for sauce:
1/8 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup coconut milk (I use full fat)
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
2 tsp Thai red curry paste
1 heaping Tbl chopped fresh basil
Salt and Pepper, to taste

Cooked Brown Rice


Instructions

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a 9x13 inch baking dish with foil and lightly spray with cooking spray. 

For breading: combine peanuts and popcorn in a food processor and pulse till evenly ground. 

For egg wash: whisk together egg, 1/2 cup coconut milk (I put the contents into a bowl prior to adding it to the egg and whisk because it will be separate in the can), ginger, garlic powder, salt and pepper.

Dip the chicken into the egg wash and then into the peanut mixture. Flip the chicken and press breading into the chicken so it is evenly coated. Place chicken into the prepared baking dish. Repeat with the remainder of the chicken.  Place chicken in the oven and bake for 35 minutes (or until completely cooked). 

While the chicken is baking make the peanut sauce.  Place chicken stock, peanut butter, remaining coconut milk, curry paste and basil into a food processor and pulse till smooth. Place the sauce into a sauce pan during the last 10 minutes of the chicken's cooking time to warm. Season with salt and pepper is desired. 

Remove chicken from oven and serve over brown rice. Top with warm sauce and enjoy!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Garlic Scape Pesto

On Saturday I went to the farmer's market and bought a new to me product called garlic scapes. I had heard of them before, but had never cooked with them. I know they are only available a limited time of year because they are harvested in late June early July. I went to my cooking board because I knew these ladies would have great ideas. A few ladies recommended this recipe for garlic scape pesto, but used almonds over the pistachios in the recipe. I had a caprese macaroni and cheese on the menu for dinner and thought it would be perfect with this pesto spread over grilled shrimp. 

This pesto did not disappoint and was absolutely delicious. The garlic scapes have a nice garlic flavor to them, but have a bit of sweetness. I also loved the addition of the almonds over the pistachios paired with the light garlic flavor. I actually made two batches so I could freeze some for later. I used this on our grilled shrimp, but am planning on some potatoes this week and a salad dressing.  

If you are at your local famer's market and see these guy give them, and this easy recipe, a try. 

Tonight we are playing volleyball at my work's employee picnic. My parents are coming with Kellen and we will have a little time to play at the park after the tourney and dinner. We attended last year and was a blast.  A bunch of my co-workers have young children to it is really fun to bring Kellen to play with everyone. 


Ingredients

10 large garlic scapes
1/3 cup unsalted almonds
1/3 cup finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano
salt and black pepper
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil


Ingredients

Puree the garlic scapes, almonds, cheese, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a food processor until very finely chopped. With the food processor running, slowly pour the oil through the opening.  Store in an airtight container in the fridge up to a week or freeze. 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Weekly Meal Plan 7/14 - 7/20

Happy Monday! 

We had a great weekend with family and friends. On Friday we went to Door County to see my cousin and her husband for dinner. They were in town for vacation and it was so fun to see her. She is a vet and has been living in North Carolina until this past month when she moved back to Wisconsin.  We had our typical grill out with brats and hamburgers. The star for Kellen was to two ears of corn and 3 pieces of watermelon he put down the hatch- the kid has a hollow leg these days.  

On Saturday, we headed to the farmer's market to pick up fresh fruit and garlic scapes. Afterwards, Ron needed to get some school work done so Kellen and I headed to the Wildlife Sanctuary and lunch with my girlfriend and her children.  Her son and Kellen and 10 days apart and they are absolutely adorable to watch run and play.  

On Saturday evening my Father in Law was kind enough to watch Kellen so Ron and I could go out for a date during restaurant week.  We went to a new to us place called Bleu. The place is delightful and has a unique cieling of puzzled together doors.  The  food is rustic, but modern. We both had crab caked, new york strip, but I opted for the caramelized pound cake and Ron the dark chocolate pudding.  

On Sunday we met my sister in law, brother in law, niece, nephew and father in law at Bay Beach to go on rides and let the kids play. The adults even got to try the new (ish) roller coaster, The Zippin' Pippin' due to a nice grandpa volunteering to watch the kids. After Bay Beach we has lunch and went over to the water park for a quick swim.  Kellen cried for a while, but slowly decided that he liked the water and splashing the adults.  Sunday evening ended with relaxation at home and grilled shrimp. 

Tonight I am meeting a few friends for restaurant week and maybe a few cocktails. On Tuesday my work has a picnic and with a volleyball tournament. I have played bar league for almost 7 years and jump at a chance to play!  Wednesday we will have our usual volleyball game at the bar and have a few relaxing nights the remainder of the week. 

Have a great week! 

Monday: Out for Restaurant Week to Cafe Espresso
Tuesday: Work Community Picnic and Volleyball Tourney
Wednesday: Crockpot Cranberry BBQ Chicken with Crispy Shallots and Corn on the Cob
Thursday: Bacon Pieorogie Bake and Green Beans
Friday: Dinner at the Union Hotel with friends from Madison
Saturday: Bang Bang Chicken Skewers and Cous Cous
Sunday: Grilled Brats, Garlic Scape Pasta Salad, Corn on the Cob and Watermelon

Treats: Peach Liqueur

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Pizza Enchiladas

Time for July Secret Recipe Club

Secret Recipe Club

This month I was assigned Colleen's blog, Secrets from a Cookie Princess. Colleen truly is a cookie princess (or maybe even queen).  She has been baking holiday gifts for friends for over 10 years and has her impressive baking stats posted on her site. Colleen's recipe collection is nothing less than impressive- tons of variety! I almost made her recipe for S'Mores Banana Bread (it is on my treat to make list!), but I saw her recipe for Pizza Enchiladas.  I have a little guy who adores pizza in all forms and I could not pass up making this for him. The original recipe just used pepperoni but Colleen mentioned how versatile this recipe was for using other pizza toppings, and I decided to add black olives and fresh mushrooms along with the pepperoni. I opted to make my own pizza sauce and use a little Parmesan cheese for the finished product. 

I have to say that is is the ultimate kid food, but it is really yummy and totally satisfies a pizza craving without the prices for delivery!  Kellen loved the recipe and exclaimed it with a loud "mmmmmm" at his first bite.  I also love the ease of this recipe for a busy weeknight. I think most working mothers can agree that getting dinner on the table after a full work day is a challenge!

Thank you Colleen for a fun and delicious new recipe! 


Ingredients

15 oz tomato sauce
6 oz tomato paste
3/4 teaspoon onion powder
 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
 1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram
 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 cup water
10 6-inch flour tortillas
7 oz package of Pepperoni (we use turkey)
1/4 cup sliced black olives
1/2 cup cup sliced fresh mushrooms
2 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese


Instructions

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. 

In a medium bowl, whisk first 11 ingredients together until smooth.  Allow sauce to sit for about 30 minutes to allow flavors to develop. 

Spread a thin layer of pizza sauce on the bottom of a 9 x 11 baking dish. Begin preparing the enchiladas by spreading about 2 Tablespoons of sauce down the center of the tortilla.  Top with 1-2 Tbl of mozzarella cheese and top with 5-6 pepperoni slices. Roll up tortilla and place seam side down in the baking dish. Repeat with remaining tortillas.

Evenly spread remaining pizza sauce over enchiladas in the pan and top with about half of the remaining mozzarella cheese. Top with pepperoni slices, olives and mushrooms. Finish with remaining mozzarella cheese and top with Parmesan. Bake, uncovered, 30 minutes or until cheesy is melted and lightly browned.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Piña Colada Grilled Pork Chops

When someone says Piña Colada do you immediately break into the Rupert Holmes classic?  I know I do. I was singing it to Kellen as I prepared this meal and, apparently, I am hilarious to watch dance around the kitchen- according to my year and a half son.  In reality I am a horrible dancer, but it is nice to please the wee one with my cringe-worthy moves. 

I am really loving grilled pineapple right now and am always looking for ways to get it into a meal. One of my favorite vacation drinks is a Piña Colada.  I have never ordered one outside of a sandy spot, but when I am in the heat on a beachy vacation they taste sooooo good.  I wanted to include the tropical flavors of the drink into a grilled pork chop.  I love the way grilling elevates the flavors or meat. I think if I had to choose grilling would be my preferred method for cooking just about anything....there is something so perfect about getting the perfect char. 

I opted for a very simple marinade that I thought brought the different parts of a Piña Colada: coconut, rum, pineapple and lime. So simple. The marinade smells like the familiar drink, and is nice and thick so the pork can absorb all the yummy flavors. Ialso like to add a bit of salt prior to grilling versus adding salt to the marinade.  

The result? Delicious!  Even my coconut hating skeptical husband thought these were delicious. The flavors are very milk, but give the pork a nice richness. The grilled pineapple is the cherry on the cake and gives a sweet smokey finish with each bite of pork chop. 

If you want to feel a little tropical give this a try, but don't forget the pineapple and cold cocktail! 


Ingredients

4 boneless pork chops
1/4 cup pineapple juice
3 Tbl dark rum
1 can coconut milk
Juice from 1 large lime 
4 pineapple rings
Salt


Instructions

Whisk pineapple juice, rum, coconut milk and lime juice in a medium bowl. Place pork chops in a large resealable bag. Pour marinade over pork chops and allow it to marinate for at least 8 hours. 

Preheat grill to medium-high.

Remove the pork chops from the marinade and sprinkle with salt. Grill pork chops 3 to 4 minutes per side (depending on thickness you may want to adjust your time). Allow the pork chops to rest 2-3 minutes before serving. While pork is resting place pineapple on the grill and allow it to slightly char. Remove and serve with pork. 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Easy Cherry Cobbler

I love cherries and all types of cherry desserts. My Grandmother use to make an amazing cherry pie when I was a kid and the flavor memories have never left. While in Door County this weekend for the 4th of July I wanted to put together a dessert for our family. I decided that cherry cobbler was what was for dinner  (er- dessert).  This recipe is super simple and totally delicious. I added a little more lemon juice and a bit of milk for a touch more richness. 

My family also thought it was funny to watch my hands turn a deeper shade of cherry red as I pitted all of the cherries! This is a bit of a mess, but it is completely worth it (and there is a humor factor of those watching you). 

We all loved this dessert and topped our portions with vanilla ice cream to enjoy before we watched the fireworks on Thursday night. Perfect final treat to enjoy a family holiday weekend!


Easy Cherry Cobbler
slightly adapted from: Recipe Girl

Ingredients

5 cups fresh cherries (pitted and left whole)
Juice from one medium lemon
1 cup granulated white sugar
1 cup All Purpose Flour
1 large egg, beaten
1 Tbl whole milk
6 Tbl salted butter, melted


Instructions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter an 8x8-inch square baking pan. Place cherries into the dish and sprinkle with fresh lemon juice.

In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar and flour. Using a fork, gently stir in the egg and milk. Keep stirring until  incorporated into the dry ingredients and it's a crumbly mixture.

Crumble the crumbly mixture over the cherries. Drizzle melted butter on top.

Bake  45 minutes or until the top is a nice golden brown and bubbling. Remove from the oven and serve.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Weekly Meal Plan 7/7 - 7/13

Happy Monday!

We had an awesome 4th of July holiday weekend! I was so sad to see it end and have to get back to reality.  We headed to our family cottage in Door County for the weekend. We were joined by my cousins and their daughter, my sister and nephew and my parents. The weather was a bit cold for the season, but we enjoyed trips to The Farm and  Door County Renaissance Faire.  we At the Faire, tried a delicious potato snack called butterfly chips and a giant smoked turkey leg (Kellen and I shared a pickle on a stick as well).  The kids and I also got painted with Henna and it looks so cute on the two of them. They both got dragons on their shoulder and I opted for a swirl design on my hands and fingers.  The Farm was fantastic, as always, and the kids loved playing with the animals and sitting on tractors. If you are in Door County The Farm is wonderful for children, and a mandatory, for us, stop every time.  After the kids were in bed, the adults entertained themselves with drinks and a Card Against Humanity.  I suppose in some families it might be odd to play this together- not in mine.  On the 4th we enjoyed grilled brats and hamburgers alongside cherry cobbler and flag cake. Our cottage is on Lake Michigan on Lily Bay and it is so fun to watch the displays from our neighbors (and do a few of our own too). 

This week we are getting back into the grind after our holiday weekend. Ron is on his last few weeks of summer classes and lab work, and he is feeling a bit busy. Kellen and I are heading to Door County on Tuesday to have dinner with another set of cousins who are there for the week. Wednesday is volleyball and it is followed by a lazy weekend. I am hoping that we can get in a swim or a trip to the zoo with our friends. 

Have a great week- here is what is op tap:

Monday:  Pina Colada Grilled Pork Chops, Soy Cilantro Roasted Potatoes and Grilled Corn
Tuesday:  Crispy Thai Popcorn and Peanut Chicken, Broccoli and Brown Rice
Wednesday: Tuna Noodle Salad and Fresh Fruit
Thursday: Leftovers
Friday: Out in Door County
Saturday: Out for Restaurant Week
Sunday: Grilled Basil Shrimp Skewers, Caprese Macaroni and Cheese and Salad