Tag Archives: Garlic

Caesar Salad

28 Jul

It’s been a salad-for-dinner type week at my house! My AC went out, so there was no cooking allowed. Plus, on holidays that allow fireworks, people in my neighborhood go crazy! We are total cheapskates and don’t ever bother purchasing our own. There really is no point! We just set up our lawn chairs and rotate as necessary – there are fireworks going off everywhere! My three year old is the most excited about the fact that she is not afraid of fireworks this year. People probably think she’s terrified because she runs around screaming like crazy. But she’s just so darn happy to enjoy them. 🙂

Fireworks are awesome (especially since aerials are legal now!), but they make for some late nights for little people ’round my house. But how do you say no? Especially since the booms would keep them up anyways? Plus we hit the water park, went horseback riding, ran a marathon…ok…just kidding. But we are worn out! And sometimes get distracted until everyone is way too hungry to wait for dinner to take forever to make. Anyone else run into this issue during the summer? Too much of too many good things…at least you can’t get too much of this too good salad. Whip it up, and enjoy it sitting in your lawn chair while you watch other people’s pyrotechnic displays.

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Ingredients:

1/3 cup mayonnaise

1 1/2 Tbsp Dijon mustard

3-4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

3 Tbsp lemon juice

1/2 Tbsp white wine vinegar

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1 cup olive oil

2-3 Tbsp milk (if needed)

8 oz chicken breast

1-2 heads romaine lettuce (about 12 cups chopped)

1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Dressing:

Combine mayonnaise, mustard, garlic, lemon juice, vinegar, salt, and pepper in a blender and process until smooth. With blender running on low speed, slowly pour olive oil in a steady stream just until fully incorporated. Only if needed, add milk by the tablespoon until desired consistency is reached. Place 1/2 cup dressing in a zip lock bag with chicken and marinate at least 30 minutes or as long as overnight. Place remaining dressing in refrigerator to chill.

Salad:

Remove chicken from marinade and grill until cooked through. Wash lettuce and chop into bite-sized pieces. Toss with Parmesan cheese and prepared chicken (can add croutons). Toss with dressing, to taste.

 

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Egg Rolls

11 Jan

Sometimes I want to crawl into the bottom drawer in my bathroom and live there for a little while. For some reason, it is the warmest place in my house. The cabinet next to it is the second warmest place, and I find myself feeling more than a little twinge of jealousy when I discover my kids having a little warming siesta inside. I just hate being cold.

This was my second attempt at egg rolls, my first being not so successful. They had no flavor, and the recipe called for a flour/water mixture that made the filling taste strange. Needless to say, I conveniently ‘forgot’ where I put that recipe and worked on a new one. I got an, “Oh, much better,” from my husband for this one. 🙂 I adjusted it from a more complicate recipe because I’m a corner-cutter like that and sometimes you just want egg rolls without having to spend 4 hours preparing them! And I’m really please with the results! photo 3

Ingredients:

1/4 tsp ground ginger

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1/4 cup chicken broth

2 Tbsp soy sauce

1 Tbsp sugar

1-2 Tbsp sesame oil

1 medium sized pork chop, cut into small cubes

2 cups coleslaw mix

egg roll wrappers

In a small bowl, combine first 6 ingredients and mix until sugar is dissolved. In a medium skillet, add sauce to pork pieces and cook through, adding coleslaw the last couple of minutes being careful not too cook too long or the cabbage will become limp. Place mixture in wrappers, using 1-2 Tbsp of mixture per wrap. Roll the corner closest to you over the filling. Brush the top corner with water. Fold in the sides and continue rolling the egg roll up until it is closed. Press to seal.

In about a 1/2 inch of oil over moderately high heat, fry egg rolls until golden brown on all sides, using tongs to turn them.

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Spaghetti Carbonara

25 Oct

We read the book ‘Garlic and Saphires‘ by Ruth Reichl for my book club this month. I’m not usually into non-fiction (I live non-fiction, so when I read I like to be somewhere else :)), but I did really enjoy the book. Reichl is a food critic who visits high-end restaurant’s in disguise in order to get different viewpoints on the food and the restaurant experience. I learned one thing – I defiantly don’t have the palate to be a critic! But it was a fun read, plus she added a few of her favorite recipes in between chapters. Most of them had ingredients that I don’t frequently cook with :), but this one jumped out at me. Pasta – check. Eggs – check. Bacon – check. Not too scary, and now I can say that I can cook like a food critic even if I can’t afford to eat like one.

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Ingredients:

1 lb spaghetti

1/4 – 1/2 lb thickly sliced bacon

2 cloves garlic

2 large eggs

pepper

1/2 cup parmigiano cheese, plus extra for serving

Bring large pot of water to boil, prepare spaghetti noodles – 9-10 minutes. Cut the bacon into 1/2 inch pieces. Put them in a skillet and cook for 2 minutes, then add garlic and cook another 5 minutes, until the edges of the bacon begin to crisp.

Break the eggs into the bowl you will serve the pasta in, and beat with a fork. Add pepper to taste.

Remove garlic from bacon pan.

When it is cooked, drain the pasta and immediately throw it into the beaten eggs. Mix thoroughly. The heat of the spaghetti will cook the eggs and turn them into a sauce. Add the bacon with its fat, toss again, add cheese and serve.

*I added grilled chicken as well.

Marinara Sauce

25 Sep

Sometimes jarred spaghetti sauce is a little disappointing when it comes to flavor. If I wanted to eat straight tomato sauce, that’s what I’d buy. It’s great when homemade can taste so much better and not really take much more effort!

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Ingredients:

1 (15 oz) can of crushed tomatoes in puree

1/4 cup water

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp olive oil

1/4 tsp lemon juice

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp oregano

1/8 tsp basil

1/8 tsp thyme

1/8 tsp garlic powder

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for 15-20 minutes.

Adapted from: http://www.sixsistersstuff.com/2013/05/copycat-papa-johns-pizza-recipe.html

Garlic Herb Rice

31 Aug

If the world ever ran out of rice, my family might die. My kids might be ok – they are young enough that they would learn to adjust. But my husband, he’d be a goner for sure. I like this rice because it’s simple – surprise! 🙂 It’s kind of like a homemade version of Rice-a-Roni, but better than the boxed version, of course. I find the boxed mixes tend to have a mushy texture, so homemade wins hands down in my book. And it’s a nice little departure from just plain white rice on those night you feel like being a hair more adventurous.

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Ingredients:

1 Tbsp butter

1 cup uncooked rice

1/4 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp garlic

1/4 tsp basil

1 (14.5 oz) can of chicken broth

Melt the butter over medium heat in a saucepan. Add rice, onion powder, garlic, and basil. Stir occasionally until rice is slightly browned – about 5-7 minutes. Add chicken broth. Let mixture come to a boil then reduce heat to low, cover, and let simmer for about 20 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed and rice is soft.

Homemade Salsa

29 Aug

I helped my neighbor’s daughter sew her wedding dress a few weeks ago. Now, there is one thing you should know about me – I am slightly obsessed with wedding dresses. My husband made a separate account for me on Netflix just so that he could filter out the shows he likes from my wedding shows. I used to have a huge stash of bridal magazines, but I decided to get rid of them when we moved into our current house, having had a sudden desire to purge anything that I could avoid packing. I regretted it almost immediately. I regretted it even more when my sister got engaged and I had nothing to go to for inspiration. Luckily, my mom’s neighbor took pity on me, and since she happened to get a couple of different magazines for free, my stash started to grow again…I am never throwing them away again. If I could convince my husband to marry me every year (not that he wouldn’t marry me again, he just doesn’t love wedding stuff quite as much as me :)), I might die of happiness getting to have a new wedding dress for every year of our marriage. Sigh. I love wedding dresses. But that’s another blog for another day…

So any who! Because I helped with the dress, my neighbor, who has a stellar garden, paid me in produce. I really just did it for love of wedding dresses, but I took the produce gratefully! I ate the entire cantaloup by myself – I’m not kidding either. Everyone else got one bite. To be fair, I did warn them that if they didn’t take advantage of such a delicious cantaloup then I would eat it all. And I did. I did the same to the honeydew. The peppers and tomatoes I got a little stuck on. I’m the only tomato eater in my house, and I knew I couldn’t eat 6 tomatoes plus a ton of cherry tomatoes all by myself before they went bad. And what do you do with 8 jalepeno peppers and a big bunch of banana peppers? I am a wuss when it comes to spicy things, so I have a hard time doing anything with peppers. After looking at all this beautiful produce sitting purposelessly on my counter for way too long, I knew it was time…time for some serious salsa improvisation. This recipe is super loose because I honestly can’t remember what exactly I put in – but it turned out so much better than I expected. As long as you have some great garden goods and stick to the seasonings in this recipe, you can use your creativity and taste to customize your own salsa.

Homemade Salsa

Ingredients:

8 jalepeno peppers (for spicy, keep seeds – for mild, remove seeds and inner membranes)

5 banana peppers

1 pt yellow cherry tomatoes

6 smaller tomatoes

1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 tsp sugar

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp ground cumin

1/2 cup cilantro

1/2 Tbsp lime Juice

Chop peppers and tomatoes so that they blend easier then combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender and pulse until you reach the desired consistency – less if you like chunky, more if you don’t like the chunks. Chill and serve.

*Adapted from original recipe: http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2010/01/restaurant-style-salsa/

Garlic Basil Pizza

25 Aug

My family and I just got back from an awesome weekend spent at the Rockin’ R Ranch. This was our third time visiting the secluded Antimony, UT dude ranch, and we’re already counting down the days until we can go again. My four year old worded it the best: “I don’t want to go, Mom! We’ve only been here a minute!” I whole-heartedly agree. Trail rides, canoeing, corral training, bucking barrels, tubing down the river, archery, treasure hunt and coloring for the kids, candy cannon, brand new baby donkey to ooh and ah at, ATV’s, no internet or TV…and the food. Oh, my friends…the food. Nothing at the Rockin’ R is gourmet – it is down home cookin’ and down right delicious. The best part? Someone else cooked it. 😉 We got home to the kitchen that I didn’t quite get all the way tidied before we left, and I looked at my husband and said, “Remember how we just spent two days in a beautiful place, riding beautiful horses, and had all our meals cooked for us? Let’s go back.” The smells that come out of that back kitchen are stomach-rumblimg good, regardless of the fact that you just ate three times more than you usually do and are stuffed like a Thanksgiving turkey – you still would happily eat more as long as it tastes as good as it smells. The first night they had some sort of blueberry spice cake that I may have to try to steal the recipe for. Top that off with roast beef, mashed potatoes and gravy…it was good stuff. Aren’t you all sad you didn’t come with us?

We got home (it’s a three hour drive for us) and of course the kids were starving, and I was still musing on the fact that small town living is starting to sound really good if I can have someone cook all of my meals…when “Pizza!” interrupted my day dream of rotisserie chicken and garlic toast. My kids always want pizza. The funny thing is that, I think I’ve mentioned the difficulty that my kids have with pizza – namely the sauce. They all hate marinara sauce! So their ‘pizza’ is really bread with cheese on it which I think is terribly boring. Unless its alfredo pizza. I like alfredo, but I also like to have a variation every now and again. I found this white pizza sauce recipe and it was a big hit. It’s also fast and easy (just how I like it) and helped me ease back into the fact that I am still the one responsible for cooking in my own home. Sigh.

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Crust:

4 cups flour

1 tsp salt

4 Tbsp oil

2 cups water

1 Tbsp sugar

2 Tbsp yeast

Mix sugar and 1 cup hot water; add yeast and set aside. In a separate bowl, mix together dry ingredients. Add yeast mixture to dry ingredients. Add final cup of water (you may not need the whole cup) and mix until dough forms a ball (should be sticky – not too dense). Cover and let dough rise until doubled in size. Punch down and let rise a second time. Roll out on floured surface, then form pizza rounds. Tip: cover baking surface with corn meal to prevent sticking. Cover with sauce and cheese (can add other toppings like grilled chicken, etc). Bake at 400^F for 20 min, or until cheese is melted and crust is cooked through. Yield: 2 pizzas

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Sauce:

2 Tbsp butter

3 Tbsp flour

1 cup milk

1/4 tsp salt

1/8 tsp pepper

1 garlic clove, minced

1 Tbsp basil, minced

1/2 cup pizza blend cheese (pre-grated mix)

Heat butter in a saucepan. Add flour and stir until thoroughly mixed. Slowly add milk. Stir in remaining ingredients, except cheese, and cook until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in cheese until melted.

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Curly Parmesan Cheese Potatoes

22 Aug

My oldest started first grade today. She put on a brave face, but I know she was nervous! I’ve lost my little helper too – I may never get to shower again (someone needs to explain to my baby that five minutes is not a nap). I don’t have anyone to talk to him while I steal a few minutes! The other two girls aren’t quite as helpful. They sure try to be, but he sees them coming and starts to cry in anticipation of their loving affection. 🙂 Who’s idea was it to educate our children anyway?!! Alright, I guess that’s the over-protective, one-kid-lonelier mommy in me talking. I’m excited for her to come home and tell me all about her first day!

Since, against my will and despite my best efforts, my kids are growing up, I’m posting a grown-up version of french fries. They are baked, so maybe just a little better for you. 😉 Fancy taste, fancy presentation, and with only four ingredients…works for me.

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Ingredients:

4 medium baking potatoes

1/4 cup butter

1 garlic clove, pressed

1/3 cup grated, fresh Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400^F. Peel, core, and slice potatoes to create long spirals (can do regular fry cuts if you don’t have a spiral corer). Place in baking dish. Melt butter with garlic in a small saucepan over low heat. Drizzle over potatoes. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake 35-45 min or until potatoes are tender and lightly browned.

 

Lower-Fat Alfredo

8 Aug

I exercised tonight – sweated it out for a good half hour, drank tons of water…and then promptly ate some Oreos. So, in penance, I’m posting something low-fat. 🙂 Well, low-er fat! The funny thing is though, I really don’t like the full-fat version of this recipe. It’s too buttery for me. So, I only make the lower-fat version based on taste and not nutrition (Oreos people…after exercising…). It’s way better than the jarred version of Alfredo you can buy at the grocery store, it’s simple to make, and you can eat a few Oreos with it and not feel as guilty. Win – Win if you ask me!

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Ingredients:

1 Tbsp butter

1 Tbsp flour

1 cup milk

1 cup cream

3/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

3/4 cup fresh Parmesan cheese, grated

Melt butter in medium saucepan. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Whisk in milk, cream, salt, and pepper. Bring to a gentle boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, 4 minutes. Stir in Parmesan cheese and heat through – do not boil. Yield – 4 servings.

Chicken Alfredo Lasagna Rolls

6 Aug

Not all of the recipes I find on the internet are a grand success. Just a few weeks ago, I was looking for something I could utilize my two quickly-ripening avocados for and stumbled upon an avocado pasta sauce. Sounds kind of yummy, right? I ignored the red flag that shot up when I read “1-3 cloves of garlic.” I love me some garlic, but 3 cloves? I even stayed on the safe end and put in only one and a half, and I almost fell out of my chair having been punched smartly in the taste buds. It was such an overwhelming garlic taste that I’m pretty sure my tongue went temporarily numb. I cleaned my plate, not wanting my kids to see me dump my food down the sink, but I was merciful to them. I saw their faces – it was pretty gross.

Luckily! This is one of my internet-find success stories. My kids are not fans of marinara (I think they are crazy, personally), so we always have to get pizza with either white sauce or no sauce, spaghetti is out, and lasagna is an every now and then. I was so excited when I found these Chicken Alfredo Lasagna Rolls – a perfect combo of the stuff they love, and I don’t have to cater to their crazy tastes. Plus, they had a lot of fun helping me put them together.

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Ingredients:

9 lasagna noodles
2 ½ cups alfredo sauce Lower-Fat Alfredo (double this recipe of alfredo if using)
2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
oregano
garlic salt
3 cups shredded Mozzarella, or cheese of your choice

Spray an 9X13 pan with non-stick spray and pour ½ cup alfredo sauce, or just enough to cover the bottom of the pan. Boil 8-10 cups water in a large pan, cook lasagne noodles until al dente. Drain and rinse the noodles with cold water to prevent them from sticking to each other. Then, lay out each noodle individually and blot dry with a paper towel.

Spread about 2 Tbs. alfredo sauce over each noodle. Sprinkle oregano and garlic salt on top of sauce. Spread shredded chicken evenly over each noodle. Add approx. 3 Tbs. cheese. To roll up, start at one end and roll the noodle over the toppings.

Place the roll-ups in the pan, one by one, seam-side down so they don’t come undone. Once they are all in the pan, pour the remaining alfredo sauce over the top. Top with remaining cheese. Bake at 350^F for about 30 minutes, or until the cheese is completely melted on top. Broil the last 3 minutes to make the cheese toasty on top.

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Original recipe found here: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151550791243589&set=a.10150167972168589.304302.587428588&type=1