Cheesy Garlic Crescent Rolls

The other night, we made Lobster Ravioli with these tasty rolls. Our entire dinner was done in less than 30 minutes. Leftover rolls were also tasty.

fullsizerender-11Cheesy Garlic Crescent Rolls from Pinterest
1 can refrigerated crescent rolls
4 pieces mozzarella string cheese
2 T. melted butter
1 tsp. garlic bread seasoning

Cut each cheese in half. Open can of crescent rolls and separate into 8 triangles. Place a piece of cheese on each triangle and roll up. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with seasoning. Bake at 375 degrees for 15-18 minutes.

Note: Jeremiah created his own Italian seasoning topping instead. It was delicious.

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Crockpot Pork Tenderloin

While grocery shopping last week, Jeremiah and I took advantage of some meat sales at Hen House. Pork loins were on sale for $3.99 lb. Normally, I cover the pork loin in herbs and wrap it in bacon. Unfortunately, we didn’t have any bacon in the freezer so I needed to come up with a new recipe. We had all the ingredients to make this recipe so it was the winner. It turned out amazing. The pork fell apart and the glaze was sweet but not too sweet. We will definitely make it again. I served this recipe with my Maple Glazed Carrots.

Crockpot Brown Sugar Balsamic Glazed Pork Tenderloin by Melissa Bossler
img_00601 tsp. ground sage
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
1 clove garlic, crushed
½ c. water
2 lb. pork tenderloin

Sauce
½ c. brown sugar
1 T. cornstarch
¼ c. balsamic vinegar
½ c. water
2 T. soy sauce

Pour a ½ c. water into a Crockpot. Then, rub pork loin with seasonings. Cook for 5 hours on low. Then, mix sauce ingredients and cook over a medium heat for 4 minutes to thicken. Baste pork loin 2-3 times over one more hour of cooking.

Bacon Ranch Chicken Pasta

A few ago weeks, I was going through my Pinterest account looking for some new recipes. This is a new one we tried and really liked. I hope you like it took.

Smothered Bacon Ranch Chicken Penne Pasta from Laugh with Us Blog
img_1185One package of bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 lb. chicken breast
2 garlic cloves
1 can cream of chicken soup
8 oz. penne pasta, cooked and drained
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 package ranch seasoning mix
1 c. sour cream
1/2 c. water

In a large bowl, mix garlic, ranch seasoning, cream of chicken, sour cream, pepper, and water. Place chicken in Crockpot and cover in sauce. Cook for 6 hours on low or 4 hours on high. About 30 minutes before it’s done, add cooked pasta and bacon.

Notes:

  • I used reduced sodium cream of chicken soup and light sour cream. 
  • I substituted a spiral pasta. 
  • Instead of mixing in the bacon, I cooked half a package and just sprinkled on top with parsley.

 

Carne Asada

One of the places Jeremiah and I eat out at a lot is Chipotle. On more than one occasion, we have tried to make our own at home. I also was telling Jeremiah about these amazing black beans and rice I had eaten at the Culinary Center of Kansas City. I was convinced they used chicken broth and I could try to replicate the flavor at home.

This was our attempt last week and trying to replicate both these tasty dishes. Although we thought the Carne Asada had really good flavor, making it along with rice, beans, guacamole, and Pico from scratch made quite a mess to clean-up. Sometimes, it’s just easier to go out and stand in line.

FullSizeRender (6)Carne Asade by Show Me the Yummy
2 lb. flank steak
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
2 T. olive oil
¼ c. orange juice
¼ c. lime juice
¼ c. lemon juice
¼ c. soy sauce
2 T. white vinegar

In a small bowl, mix spices. Then, stir in oil. Rub half of mixture on each side of the steak. Mix together remaining ingredients. Spray Crockpot with nonstick spray. Pour in half of juice mixture. Place in steak and pour over with remaining juice. Cook on low for six hours.

Black Beans by Amber Bourek
8 oz. dry black beans
1 c. low sodium chicken stock
water
½ diced yellow onion
2 crushed garlic cloves
salt
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder

Rise black beans. For beans in sprayed Crockpot. Cover with 1 cup of chicken stock and enough water to cover by two inches. Add in onion, garlic, and seasonings. Cook on high for six – seven hours.

Note:

I put together a few recipes to make this dish. I cooked them for 4 hours. They were still a little hard so I kept cooking them. My husband thinks we should have soaked the beans for 24 hours and then they would have cooked in 3 ½ to 4 hours.

Guacamole

Five weeks ago, I married the love of my life in a small but beautiful ceremony. Although our original plan was to go to St. Kitts. Then, the Zika virus happened. We decided we want to either stay in the states or head up north to Canada. We settled upon San Antonio, Texas. Why? We had never been and read lots of things that said it was a must visit destination.

Jeremiah and I are planners. Unfortunately, wedding planning and out of town travel for work left us heading to San Antonio without a plan. When we arrived, our first stop was a great little restaurant called Magnolia Pancake Haus. OMG – that side order of pancakes was the best pancakes I’ve ever had. It was so good, we went back one more time and even purchased a bottle of their homemade syrup to take home.

All the food we ate on our honeymoon was amazing. We loved the Hearthstone Bakery Café, Tycoon Flats, Franks, Gruene River Mill, and Guenther House. But Boudros Texas Bistro on the Riverwalk makes the most amazing table side guacamole I’ve ever had. And Jeremiah and I thought we love Chipotle’s guac until we tasted this dish. Lucky for us, we were able to find this recipe online. My husband made it two weeks ago for dinner and I’m roasting the ingredients right now so we can have it for dinner with Skinny Chipotle Cilantro Rice and Carne Asada (cooking in the crockpot as I type this post). Note – the secret ingredient here is fruit squeezed orange juice.

IMG_0971Boudro’s Famous Guacamole
1 orange
2 limes
4-6 avocados
1 roma tomato, roasted and diced
2 serrano pepper, roasted, seeded, and diced
4 T. red onion, diced
½ c. fresh cilantro, chopped
1 tsp. sea salt
1 garlic clove, chopped

Squeeze orange and lime juice into a bowl. Scoop out avocados and add to the bowl. Add tomato, peppers, onion, garlic, and cilantro. Fold into avocado. Add salt to taste.

Notes:

  • Results should be more or cut together than mashed. Our server just used the two knifes she cut everything open with.
  • This makes 6-8 serving. Since guacamole gets brown so quickly, we half this recipe.

Turkey Burgers

With just three weeks to the big day, you would think I’d be working on my to-do list. My wonderful fiance is out of town for work and my place feels so quiet. So what’s a girl to do but cook.

Last week, Jeremiah was craving turkey burgers so we pulled out some ground turkey from the freezer to thaw. This Patti LaBelle’s recipe is the best one I’ve ever eaten. Very most and lots of flavor.

IMG_0671Turkey Burger by Patti LaBelle
2 tsp. canola oil
1/8 c. minced onions
1 T. minced parsley
2 tsp. poultry seasoning
2 lb. ground turkey
1 large egg white
1/2 c. dried cranberries
1/2 c. crushed stuffing
salt and pepper

Saute onions, parsley, and seasoning in heated oiled pan. Cool slightly and add to bowl with other ingredients. Grill and serve. Consider making a fat free mayo mix with cranberry jalapeno jelly. It really adds to the flavors in this dish.

Since we didn’t get it made before Jeremiah left, I decided I would cook another recipe with with the ground turkey. I found this one on Pinterest today. It’s OK in taste but fell apart on the George Foreman grill. If I make it again, I think I’ll add an egg white and maybe bake it to see if that helps it keep it’s shape.

FullSizeRender (2)Turkey Burger from Pinterest
1 lb. ground beef
1 avocado, mashed
1 chopped clove of garlic
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/3 c. panko bread crumbs

Mix ingredients together and grill.

Gipes

In fall 2014, Jeremiah and I took our first class at the Culinary Center of Kansas City. I had wanted to go forever but just been able too. We took as tasting class called Drive Ins and Dinner Done Right. Aka – how to cook fried food. We made fried tacos, onion rings, and adult root beer floats (so good). We were so stuffed by the end of the night!

Our chef educator’s family used to own a restaurant. In fact, you may have seen her on television. She beat out thousands of chefs to appear on America’s Next Great Restaurant. She was very entertaining and had lots of great stories to share along with cooking tips.

The class was very hands on and we had to learn to cook with strangers. Jeremiah and I learned that we cook really well together. Unfortunately, we did not cook well with strangers. We were always the last group to finish. But in our defense, I think the other groups knew each other and our stove was clear on the other side of the room.

Jeremiah and I made this recipe once for his parents. It was a little liquidy when we made it the first time so we decided to cook our some of the juice this time. We liked it a little better this way. And to be quite honest, I don’t normally eat Sloppy Joes/taverns. It was also a hit with Jeremiah’s parents. The best part of the night though was Don offering to wash the dishes. If you know me at all, it’s one of my least favorite task.

Gipes (Italian Sloppy Joes) by Sandy Digiovanni
IMG_00531 lb. of ground beef
1 onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
5 garlic cloves
¼ c. fresh parsley
¾ c. beef broth
1 can crushed tomatoes
butter, softened
slice fresh mozzarella cheese
a package of Ciabatta rolls

Brown the ground beef. Add onion and pepper. Cook 5-8 minutes. Add broth, tomatoes, 4 garlic cloves, and parsley. Cook on a higher heat to reduce liquid.

Mix remaining garlic, butter, and x. Spread on slice Ciabatta rolls. Top one side of the roll with cheese. Broil in oven for 2-3 minutes to melt. Top with meat and serve.

Notes:

  • We used smaller Ciabatta rolls and cut slices of cheese in half. It made 12 sandwiches.
  • We used a yellow onion and green pepper. I think you could use whichever onion and pepper you wanted too.
  • We used reduced sodium beef broth and dried parsley.

Italian Beef Sandwiches

Over the years, I’ve made several roasts. My sister is an oven fan but I prefer it to be made in the Crock-pot. I love the tender meat that comes from making it in the Crock-pot. This is my favorite French Dip recipe. You know what they say, “When you find a good recipe, stop.” This is flavorful but also keeps your meat juicy. I’d recommend adding a little melted provolone to the top of this sandwich and you’ll love it even more.

FullSizeRender (1)Italian Beef Sandwiches by Jan Kent (Quick Cooking January/February 2004)
1 beef sirloin roast
1 can beef broth
1 can beer (or one additional can of beef broth)
1 c. water
1/4 c. cider vinegar
1 envelope onion soup mix
1 envelope Italian salad dressing mix
1 garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 tsp. dried oregeno 
1 tsp. dried basil

Place roast in the Crock-pot. Mix remaining ingredients and pour over roast. Cook on low for 7-8 hours.

Chicken Biryani

For a house warming gift, my boyfriend Jeremiah’s sister bought us a box of food from Hello Fresh. She was telling us about it a few months back because her mother-in-law had bought them some as a Christmas gift. If you aren’t familiar with it, they are one of those companies where they ship you all the ingredients to make a couple of recipes. The focus is on fresh ingredients.

With Hello Fresh, you can select from 2 or 4 servings. They have two boxes to chose from – regular or vegetarian. Each comes with three recipes and all the ingredients you need to prepare those recipes (except oil, salt, and pepper). Each of the three recipes comes in its own individual box. At the bottom of the large box is all the fresh meat. All the recipes have similar ingredients. That means sense from a cost prospective. They also work it so you can reuse ingredients like chicken stock concentrate to cook peas and make gravy. They are pretty simple recipes and often increase less common ingredients like ginger, golden raisins, and parsnips. All the recipes called frying the meat. Since this isn’t how we normally cook our meat, we modified this recipe by baking the chicken.

This particular recipe had fresh peas in it. I hate peas. Jeremiah asked if I wanted to not include them. They looked very fresh so I said we could include them. I decided if I hated them, I could always pick them out. That’s normally what I do with fried rice. To my surprise, I did not hate them in this recipe and ate all of them. I think the sweetness of the golden raisins helped. I’m sharing this recipe because it was the most complex and flavorful of the recipes we prepared. We kept the recipe because Jeremiah wants to make it again. Although this recipe was supposed to be just two servings, we ended up with a lot of extra rice. We ended up added preparing a little more roasted chicken breast and getting two more servings out of it. The leftovers were pretty good too.

If you would like to check them out for yourself, I did see a Groupon for them last week. I’m not sure if it is still available but I think you were able to get a two serving box of three recipes for $40 – or about $6.50 per serving.

Chicken BiryaniCrispy Chicken Biryani by Hello Fresh
2 Chicken Thighs (bone in, skin on)
¾ c. Basmati rice
4 oz. fresh peas
1 red onion
1 plum tomato
1 lime
1 jalapeno
1 ginger root
2 cloves of garlic
¼ oz. cilantro
1 oz. golden raisins
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. garam masala
1 packet of chicken stock concentrate
1 tsp. oil

Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Coat a pan with oil and cook chicken. Meanwhile, prep remaining ingredients. Dice the onion and tomato. Peel and grate the ginger. Mince the garlic. Cut jalapeno (remove seeds for less spice). Chop cilantro. Slice lime into wedges. Remove chicken from pan but leave the leave the oil in the pan. Add onion and jalapeno to pan. Cook for 4-5 minutes. Then, add garlic, ginger, garam masala, and cumin. Cook for an additional 1 to 2 minutes. Add tomato, rice, raisins, chicken stock, and 1 ¾ c. water to the pan. Season the pan with dash of salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook for 12-14 minutes. Stir in peas. Cook uncovered for 3-5 additional minutes. Squeeze with a few lime wedges and sprinkle with cilantro. Serve with remaining lime wedges.

Bean Paste Day 2

I was very nervous about day two. In theory, work should get my mind of the hunger. However, I work in a 217,000 sq. ft. warehouse full of food. If you read my post yesterday, you know how much I was thinking about food.

Luckily, my second day went better. I ate breakfast at 7:30 AM after working out. This kept my stomach from growling until just after 11 AM. Jeremiah took his to work and ate it. That helped him stay full until lunch time.

hummusLunch seemed to hold for me. I added a little Italian Seasoning to my hummus or what Jeremiah affectionately refers to as “Bean Paste”. It seemed to taste a little better. Jeremiah reported had a very difficult day at work. He wasn’t sure if it was just an issue with his update or a combination of also being hungry.

Unfortunately, I got a headache during my drive home. This is what my sister warned me about – the sugar headache. Stephanie got one when she gave up sugar and caffeine for two weeks on the Mayo Clinic diet. I know mine wasn’t from caffeine because I drink decaf half the time. I don’t drink soda very but I remember who painful it was when I gave it up. I told Jeremiah that this was probably the least amount of sugar my body has had in years. He agreed.

We had two very difficult social engagements last night. I opted not to attend a work function called Taste of Elegance. It’s an event where some of the best chefs in town cook pork dishes. As foodies, Jeremiah and I would have been in heaven at this event had it not been SNAP Challenge Week for us. Could you image going to mingle with your volunteers at a social function and not being able to eat or drink anything?

The second event was making our March meals at Social Suppers. I love this event and it helps us knock out preparing most of our meals for the month in about 30-45 minutes. Plus, the owners Jen and Jill are just so darn sweet. We decided to go and just not cook any of it until after the challenge. It’s amazing how quickly six entrees and one side dish add up to over $100. Yikes in comparison this week’s budget. We survived the experience of being temped by food.

When we got back to Jeremiah’s house, we ate a dish we had cooked on Sunday. Thank goodness we had since it was 6:45 PM. Normally, we are doing dishes by then. In fact, we usually go out to eat after we make Social Supper. Not in the budget this month.

The dish we made was Dave Ramsey’s Simple Red Bean and Rice recipe. I have to admit, Jeremiah and I got the recipe from a former coworker Chef Hild. He prepared for our Financial Peace University class a few weeks ago. He cooked enough to feed 80 people on just $30. Jeremiah and I weren’t able to get the price per serving that low. Then again, we can’t buy food directly from companies or shop at Restaurant Depot.

red beansSimple Red Beans & Rice by Financial Peace University & Chef Gary Hild
2 c. water
1 c. uncooked rice
1 – 16 oz. turkey sausage, cut into 1/4 inch slices
2 T. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 clove of chopped garlic
2 – 15 oz. cans of kidney beans, drained
1/2 c. water
1 – 16 oz. can whole peeled tomatoes, chopped
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
salt
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. black pepper

Options to add at the table (not in our budget): Worcestershire sauce, salsa, Sriracha sauce, Tabasco sauce, or dried basil

In a sauce pan, bring water to a boil. Add rice and stir. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

In a large skillet, cook sausage over a low heat for 5 minutes. Stir in onion, green pepper, and garlic. Saute until tender. Pour in 1/2 c. water, beans, and tomatoes with juice. Season with oregano, salt and pepper, and red pepper flakes. Simmer uncovered for 20 minutes.

Stir and then serve over rice.

Notes:

  • The cost of the entire dish was $5.75 or just $.82 per serving.
  • Jeremiah and I found the cheapest place to buy bulk rice is at Sprouts. Plus, you can mix white and brown together to make it healthier.
  • Jeremiah and I over cooked our rice so we mixed the ingredients together. It was fine.
  • We also purchased all the fresh veggies on sale at Sprouts.
  • We brought two sausages in the fresh meat case at HyVee. We got between 5-6 slices of meat per serving.
  • We brought diced canned tomatoes to save time in prep.
  • We served this dish with a slice of corn bread and a whole wheat chocolate chip cookie.
  • The recipe wasn’t too bad – though not as taste as when Chef made it. Both our stomachs were growling around 9 PM. Jeremiah supplemented with a few crackers.