Homemade Salsa

I love making salsa!

It’s super easy & you can make as much or as little as you want.

Not to mention you can control how spicy it is. 

The hotter, the better in my book!!

My only problem with having an over abundance of salsa in the house, is staying out of it.

I always find myself sneaking back into the kitchen getting into the salsa bowl. 😉

 

salsa

salsa 2

Ingredients

1 can (28 Ounce) whole tomatoes with juice
2 cans (10 Ounce) Rotel (diced tomatoes And green chilies)
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 whole jalapeño, quartered And sliced thin (I add more than 1, maybe 3 or a couple serrano peppers)
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 cup fresh cilantro (more to taste)
1/2 whole lime, juiced

In a large food processor or blender, combine whole tomatoes, Rotel tomatoes, onion, jalapeno, garlic, sugar, salt, cumin,

lime juice, and cilantro. Pulse until you get the salsa to the consistency you’d like.

Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary.

Refrigerate salsa for at least an hour. Serve with tortilla chips.

salsa jar

This recipe was adapted from the Pioneer Woman.

Ranch Sauce & Cheese Fries

If I had to choose 3 things to eat for the rest of my life, 

cheese fries w/ ranch would definitely be on that list.

A nice crispy fry covered in ooey gooey cheese, with big chunks

of apple wood bacon smothered in ranch sauce.. who wouldn’t

want to eat that?! 😉

Given it’s not a healthy snack but these are prefect for those once

a week splurge days while you’re watching football. You know

which days I’m talking about. It’s the day where you sit around in

your pj’s all day, lounging on the couch. Yeah, these are perfect for those

kind of days.  

DSC05507 redoServe ranch sauce on the side.

DSC05510 redoOr drizzle ranch sauce over fries & cover with cheese.

Ingredients

4-6 Potatoes or Frozen Bag of Wedges
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper (Any other seasoning)
1 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1/2 Cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
1/2 Cup Real Bacon Bits
1/4 Cup Green Onions (Opitional)

Ranch Sauce
1 Cup Sour Cream
1/2 Cup Ranch Dressing 
1/4 Cup Milk

Cut potatoes into “steak french fries” size.  Place on baking sheet. 
Drizzle with olive oil & lightly toss with tongs.  Sprinkle with salt & pepper. 
 Bake 400 for 40 minutes or until tender. If using frozen wedges, do as directed on bag.

 Mix together sour cream, ranch dressing & milk.
Once wedges are finished baking, drizzle the ranch sauce over the potatoes.
Cover ranch sauce with cheddar/ mozzarella cheese & bacon.
Place under broiler for a few seconds to melt the cheese.
If you are using the ranch sauce as a dipping
sauce, just cover wedges with cheese & bacon.
Then place under the broiler.
Serve on the side.

Original Recipe

Thin Crust and Pizza Sauce

Our Saturday nights can be busy & tiring if there’s a late night football game to attend.

Those are the kind of nights that require something quick & easy for dinner. The last thing you

want to do is spend an hour or so in the kitchen cooking after you just spent 2 hours

in the stands cheering & screaming. So what makes everyone in the house smile?

Pizza!

Make the dough before you leave & it will rise while you’re gone. It will be ready by the time you get home.

The sauce takes just a couple minutes to make in the blender.

Shape the dough, add the sauce & toppings and presto, pizza in about 20 minutes.

It didn’t cost an arm & leg, no 45 minute wait for delivery & you can make it however you want!!

DSC_0329 aI’ve never tried this type of yeast before, but it makes some pretty awesome thin crust pizza.

DSC_0334 aShape your dough very carefully & add the toppings.

DSC_0339 aBake for 15 minutes, slice & serve.

Ingredients

Thin Crust Pizza

2 1/4 Cups All Purpose Flour
1 Envelope Fleischmann’s Pizza Yeast
1 1/2 tsp Sugar
3/4 teaspoon Salt
2/3 Cups very warm water (120F – 130F)
3 Tbsp Oil

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Combine 1 cup flour, undissolved yeast, sugar & salt in a large bowl.  Add very warm water & oil; mix until well blended, about 1 minute. 

Gradually add enough remaining flour to make a soft dough.  Dough should form a ball & will be slightly sticky.

Knead on a floured surface, adding additional flour if necessary, until smooth & elastic, about 4 minutes.

Pat dough with floured hands to flatten on baking sheet or roll dough on a floured counter to 12-inch circle;

place on a greased pizza pan or baking sheet.  Spread with pizza sauce.  Top with desired toppings and sprinkle with cheese.

Bake on lowest oven rack for 12 to 15 minutes, until cheese is bubbly and crust is browned.

Ingredients

Pizza Sauce

1 tsp Olive Oil
2 Cloves Garlic
28 oz Can Crushed Tomatoes
1 tsp Oregano
2 Tbsp Chopped Fresh Basil
Salt & Pepper to Taste

In a medium pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic & saute until golden, being careful not to burn.

Add crushed tomatoes, salt, pepper & oregano to blender. Pulse until smooth. Add garlic & fresh basil to blender. Pulse again until smooth.

Spoon onto pizza dough.

* If you prefer to cook your sauce, cover & let simmer about 15 – 20 minutes.*

Breakfast Empanadas with Chipotle Sauce

Breakfast is one of my favorite meals. I actually look forward to getting up

on the weekends to cook for my family.

Believe it or not, I find it fun combing through recipes looking for ways to spice

up the same old boring breakfast foods. 

This chipotle sauce is really what makes this a repeat recipe in our house.

I’ve made this sauce several times outside of breakfast for my

husband who loves using it as a spread on crackers.

aAfter rolling out the biscuit dough, add your fillings. I used, eggs, sausage & cheese

aaFold the dough over to form a pocket & pinch the edge closed with a fork.

aaaCut off the extra dough.

IMG_1413Brush the tops of your empanadas with the egg wash & bake.

aaaaServe with chipotle sauce.

Ingredients

Empanadas – Any breakfast items you prefer (Eggs, Sausage, Cheese, etc)

1 Can of Jumbo Biscuits

1 Egg (for egg wash)

4oz Cream Cheese

1/2 cup Sour Cream

2 Chipotle Chilis in Adobo, minced (add a little extra for an extra kick)

1/2 tsp garlic salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Cook empanada ingredients as instructed on their package.

Open the can of biscuits; separate each biscuit into 2 halves. Flatten each half with your hands or rolling pin to make larger.

Spoon a heaping tablespoon of your breakfast fixings into center of each biscuit, fold the dough over & pinch closed using a fork.

Place on a nonstick baking sheet & brush with egg wash.

Bake 15 minutes.

Chipotle Sauce: In a small saucepan, combine cream cheese, sour cream, chipotle peppers & garlic salt.

Cook over medium heat until cream cheese is melted & all ingredients are combined.

Serve warm.

Fried Egg and Avocado Sandwich

If you want a healthier alternative to cereal,

you need to give this sandwich a try.

It’s fresh, delicious & a great on the go sandwich.

If you have a little time to cook up some bacon & make the spread

a head of time, it takes less than 5 minutes to prepare.

DSC_0062

Ingredients

4 slices bacon
2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
4 slices wheat bread, toasted
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 teaspoon minced fresh parsley leaves
1 teaspoon minced green onion
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 large eggs
4 slices tomato
1/2 avocado, peeled, pitted, and sliced

In a small skillet, cook bacon over medium-high heat until crispy. Remove from pan, and drain on paper towels. 

Spread butter over each side of bread. Place 4 slices of bread, butter side down, on skillet over medium heat. Flip bread and toast the other side. * Feel free to use a toaster*

In a small bowl, add cream cheese, parsley and green onions together. Add salt and pepper. Spread onto 1 side of each toast slice.

In a small skillet, fry the eggs over medium-low heat. Crack the yolks and flip.

Place each egg on top of 2 pieces of toast. Cover each egg with 2 slices of bacon, 2 slices of tomato, and 2 slices of avocado.

Top with another piece of toast and serve immediately.

Thai Sweet Chili Chicken & French Green Beans

For my first attempt making Thai food, I would have to say I hit the

jackpot with these two recipes.  Not only is it flavorful but it’s really not that 

complicated to make. I’ve been putting off making any kind of Chinese or Thai food because honestly

I didn’t think it would be as tasty as takeout. I was totally & completely wrong. In my opinion it taste better.

If you look at most of the recipes I post, there is

a common theme among them.. Simplicity.  Our household like most is

super busy & spending hours on end in the kitchen just won’t do.

Luckily, the most time consuming part is cooking the chicken.

The rest is easy peasy! 😉

sweet chili sauceYesterday I posted the recipe for the sauce that goes with this dish.

DSC_0202

DSC_0209Doesn’t that look tasty?

Ingredients

3 boneless skinless chicken breasts (cut into 1” chunks)
Oil (for deep frying)
1 cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
½ teaspoon paprika
1 egg
1 cup milk

Heat oil in a pan or deep-fryer to 375 degrees. In a large bowl combine flour, salt, black pepper and paprika.

In a small bowl whisk together the egg and milk. Dip each piece of chicken in the egg mixture and then roll in the flour mixture.

Repeat so that each piece of chicken is double coated.  (I actually breaded the chicken pieces right before I put them in the fryer)

Fry chicken in the hot oil in batches until the outside is nicely browned (about 5 minutes per batch).

Drain on paper towels.
Once all the chicken has been cooked, use the same oil to fry the french green beans for about 20 seconds.

When the green beans starts to wrinkle and change color (just slightly), remove and drain on a kitchen paper.

In a large pan add the chicken and beans and toss in sauce to coat evenly.

Thai Sweet Chili Sauce

Yesterday I ran across this recipe to make Thai sweet chili sauce and just happened

to have everything to make it but red jalapenos. Unfortunately, my store

only carried green jalapenos so I chose Serrano peppers instead.

Let me just say this sauce is amazing & unbelievably easy to make!

It made for a GREAT Thai dinner that I will share a little later.

sweet chili sauceThe color of your sauce will depend on the type of peppers you use.

Normally the sauce is a very pretty red.

Ingredients

3 large garlic cloves, peeled
2 red Jalapeño or Serrano peppers, (I deseeded one & left the seeds in the other for a kick)
¼ cup white distilled vinegar
½ cup sugar
¾ cup water
½ tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons water

In the blender, puree together all the ingredients, except for the last two.

Transfer the mixture to a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.

Lower the heat to medium and simmer until the mixture thickens up a bit and the garlic-pepper bits begin to soften, about 3 minutes.

Combine the cornstarch and water to make a slurry. Whisk in the cornstarch mixture and continue to simmer one more minute.

The cornstarch will help the sauce to thicken slightly thereby causing nice suspension of the garlic-pepper bits;

otherwise, you get a thin sauce with all the little pieces floating on the surface.

Let cool completely before storing in a glass jar and refrigerate.

Original Recipe found here.

Pumpkin Fritters

It’s that time of the year again where pumpkin is the staple of most

recipes in my house. My husband & I LOVE Fall & all the wonderful flavors of Fall, so

we cram in as much as we can possibly stand over the next couple months.

Last weekend I made pumpkin fritters for the first time & they were pretty delightful.

I did make a couple changes from the original recipe, but only because I didn’t

care for the over whelming bland pumpkin flavor. Below I’ve listed the original recipe

with the additional ingredients that I added. 🙂

 DSC_0184I used a small ice cream scoop to dip out little balls of batter & dropped it straight into the vegetable oil.

DSC_0183After several minutes & a nice golden brown color, I placed them on a paper towel to drain.

I would recommend testing one to make sure it cooked all the way

through unless you don’t mind a little pumpkin pie texture in the middle.

DSC_0189

Rolled just the tops in cinnamon sugar.

DSC_0190The original recipe calls for a caramel sauce for dipping but I couldn’t locate golden syrup at my local

grocery store. I made a cinnamon syrup instead which was just as tasty I’m sure.

DSC_0194Aren’t they pretty? 😉

Ingredients

Pumpkin Fritters
1 cup pumpkin, cooked and pureed
1 cup flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoon caster sugar
1 egg
¼ cup milk
pinch of salt
oil, for deep frying
1 1/4 teaspoons of pumpkin spice – (Extra I added) (Feel free to add more or less)
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla – (Extra I added) (Feel free to add more or less)

Caramel Sauce
¾ cup sugar

1 cup cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tbsp butter
½ cup golden syrup (Couldn’t locate in my local store, so I made this recipe instead)
1 teaspoon sea salt flakes

To make the fritters, combine all the ingredients and mix until you have a smooth batter.

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan and fry spoonfuls of the batter until golden brown and cooked throughout, approximately 2-3 minutes.

Remove from the oil and allow to drain on kitchen paper.

Continue until all the fritters are cooked.

To make the caramel sauce, combine all the ingredients in a medium saucepan and allow to cook over a medium heat for 10-15 minutes until the sauce is thick and glossy. Serve warm.

Turkey Gyros

Let me introduce you to my version of a Greek Gyro.

My version uses turkey in place of lamb.

How could anyone eat those cute little lambs?!

I know a lot of people can, but I am not one of them.

I won’t eat goat either. Growing up my mother raised pygmy goats

& I made a couple of them my pets.

My first pet goat was named Murphy after Murphy Brown. lol.

Do you remember that tv show? I think she worked for a news room called F.Y.I..

Anyway, I have a hard time eating cute little animals that remind me of my pets.

I think the turkey is a delicious substitute. It’s juicy, flavorful & healthy.

I’ve never had a true gyro but this one was pretty darn tasty!!

I used some Greek seasoning in the turkey & a little in the cucumber sauce.

I did use a 100% whole wheat tortilla in place of a pita.

Ingredients

1lb ground turkey

1 tsp Greek seasoning

1/2 tomato, diced

1/2 onion, sliced

1/2 head lettuce, shredded

feta

olive oil

tortillas or pitas

Heat olive oil in a large pan on medium to high heat.

Brown turkey until no longer pink. Make sure to break turkey up into small pieces.

While cooking add Greek seasoning to the pan. Stir.

Heat tortillas or pitas. Once warm, fill each one with turkey, tomatoes, lettuce,

onion & feta. Drizzle the cucumber sauce on top. 

Cucumber Sauce

1/4 cup mayo

1/2 tsp pepper

1/2 cucumber, finely diced

Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Drizzle on top.

Enjoy!

Teriyaki Chicken

I’m on a quest to make my own Chinese food.

Since moving to our house 2 years ago, we have been unsuccessful

with finding a really good Chinese restaurant close by. We have tried all within our

area & have resorted driving  25 miles round trip to our favorite spot.

Two weeks ago, we discovered our favorite spot closed. The owners retired. 😦

Oh No!!!

So my quest begins.

First dish I am across to try was teriyaki chicken.

Homemade teriyaki sauce is sooo good & it smells great!

Easy to make & much better than the bottled stuff you’d get at the store.

NO high fructose corn syrup and unnecessary preservatives here!

If you look closely you can see a little bit of fresh ginger.

A little green onion to garnish.

Served on a bed of jasmine rice.

This rice really is wonderful. Compliments the chicken well.

Ingredients

Teriyaki Sauce

1/3 cup (low sodium) soy sauce
2 tbsp. honey
1 tbsp. brown sugar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. fresh ginger, minced
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup water
1 tbsp. cornstarch

In a medium saucepan, combine soy sauce, honey, brown sugar, garlic, ginger and vinegar over medium-high heat, stirring frequently.

Dissolve cornstarch in water in a separate mixing bowl and then add to the saucepan. Cook for 6-8 minutes, stirring frequently, until thickened.

Set aside.

Chicken

1 tbsp. olive oil
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
pinch kosher salt
pinch ground black pepper
optional: sliced green onions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Heat olive oil in large, oven-safe skillet over high heat. Season chicken liberally with kosher salt and ground black pepper.

Place chicken into skillet and cook until golden-brown on one side, about 5-6 minutes. Flip pieces over, pour the teriyaki sauce over and between the chicken and place into the oven.

Bake chicken for 15-20 minutes, until no longer pink in the middle.

To serve, slice against the grain and drizzle teriyaki sauce from the skillet over the chicken.

Serve over steamed rice if desired. Garnish with sliced green onions if desired.

😉