Monday, December 31, 2018

Countdown to 2019: Most Popular Recipes of 2018

Baked Brie with Balsamic Blackberries


This was the only appetizer I posted this year, but basically, you don't need another one. This is great for the SuperBowl or New Year's or any gathering that requires amazingly delicious cheese and berries. It's super easy to make and even easier to make disappear.

Baked Garlic Green Beans


Can you believe that a green vegetable made it into the most popular this year? It's true! This was one of the recipes with the most hits this year. It's easy to get in a vegetable "rut" so I love finding a new treatment for our favorite veggies. As I mentioned in the original post, this was the first time ever that we ran out of the vegetables at dinner - these garlicky green beans were a real favorite!

Thai Noodles with Peanut Sauce


This stir fry dish with noodles and a peanut sauce is definitely worth getting in your dinner rotation. You can use pork, chicken or beef, and any veggies that you like. I love how versatile it is, and how delicious.

What fun this has been to look back on the greatest recipes of 2018! Tomorrow I'll share what I'm hoping to make in the New Year.






Sunday, December 30, 2018

Countdown to 2019: Best Instant Pot Recipes of 2018

I love using my instant pot. It's not always the fastest way to cook, (ironic since it's called the Instant Pot) but it does always produce wonderful results. Probably the best thing about it is that it dirties only one pot, so clean up is a breeze. Here are my three favorite IP recipes from the last year.

Chicken Tikka Masala


This was a VERY popular dish at our house. It has just the right amount of spice and coconut milk adds to the delicious flavor. I've heard there's a way to cook rice in the IP at the same time as the entree, which would make this even better, but I have not tried it for myself. This is equally good served over riced cauliflower, too.

Bacon Risotto with Mushrooms and Peas


I've said it before and I'll say it again. Risotto is my FAVORITE thing to make in the IP. It turns out beautifully every single time, with no need to stir. And there are so many different combinations to try with different proteins and veggies. I made up this recipe based on ingredients that needed to be used up, and they went really well together. Leftovers make a wonderful lunch the next day, too.


Creme Brulee Cheesecake



Dessert in the IP? Yep! And cheesecake turns out wonderfully. It is so creamy and delicious. This version relies on a quick toasting under the broiler to create the crisp, sugary top, like creme brulee. If you have a torch, that would work even better!

Tomorrow we'll feature the most popular recipes on this blog from 2018. See you then!





Saturday, December 29, 2018

Countdown to 2019: Best Desserts of 2018

Ooh la la, it's dessert day! I'm featuring my three favorite desserts of this past year today, but tomorrow there will be another in the Instant Pot category. Dessert in the Instant Pot? Yes sir (or ma'am). But first, check out these amazing creations that use your oven.


Brownie Cake with Cookie Butter Frosting



If you've never tried cookie butter before, go out and get some today. That stuff is fantastic, especially on a brownie cake. This was another one of the recipes I promised I would make in 2018, and it was wonderful. I will probably make it again and again in 2019, too!


Oatmeal Dulce DeLeche Bars



I would put dulce deleche in anything, but it is especially good between layers of oatmeal. These bars are wonderful when they are chilled, and they are very sweet, so a little goes a long way.

Peanut Butter Fudge Bars


One of my favorite bars of ALL TIME, these put two of the best ingredients together: chocolate and peanut butter, for an amazing taste sensation. This makes a big pan, too, so there's plenty to share.

Stay tuned tomorrow for the best Instant Pot recipes of 2018.



Friday, December 28, 2018

Countdown to 2019: Best Main Dishes of 2018

Today we're taking a look back at the best main dishes of this past year. I posted a lot of main dishes in 2018 and they were all fantastic! You will find some featured here, and some later this week in the best Instant Pot category, and one in the Most Popular category.

Let's not delay - you'll want to try each one of these this year!

Cuban Quesadillas


This was one the recipes I had tagged to "make in 2018" and so I made these amazing quesadillas right away in January. And I'm so glad I did. They have made many repeat appearances at our lunch and dinner table this year. Sometimes, I make carnitas for the express purpose of making these quesadillas (or for the tostadas featured yesterday! you'll have plenty for BOTH!)


Sausage, Shrimp and Vegetable Skillet



I love, love, love this recipe. It couldn't be simpler and it's super healthy, chock full of whatever veggies you want to use. The salty keilbasa makes a great partner to the shrimp, and the whole thing is just all kinds of wonderful.

Egg Roll in a Bowl


This is one of the most surprising recipes I tried this year. Surprising because of its simplicity in terms of method and ingredients, but complex in terms of texture and flavors. It is really, really good.

Tomorrow is the best desserts of 2018! The Countdown is hosted by Elena Bltheh at Fantastical Sharing of Recipes.





Thursday, December 27, 2018

Countdown to 2019: Best Breakfasts of 2018

I love the Countdown! I love looking back on things I've made and posted this year - oftentimes it's a good reminder to get these great recipes in the rotation, if they've fallen out for any reason. I had a bit of an unplanned hiatus from blogging this summer, so I have fewer recipes than usual to choose from, but if this first day is any indication, all my choices for the countdown are amazingly delicious things that I would make over and over again.

So, here you go - the best breakfasts of the past year.

Brunch Tostadas


So this might be one of my all time favorite recipes of the whole year - not just for breakfast. I had something similar at a restaurant on vacation and counted the days til I could recreate it at home. It was a huge hit at our house and with extended family. It makes a great dinner or breakfast or lunch or brunch - it's spectacular whenever you serve it!


Roasted Vegetable and Bacon Breakfast Bake



This is a great make ahead casserole, perfect for when you have overnight guests. I love the added flavor and robust-ness of the roasted vegetables. Just like the tostadas, this makes a great breakfast, lunch or dinner!

Triple Berry Streusel Muffins


I make muffins almost weekly for the kids' breakfast (easy for a quick grab on the way out the door!). The favorite is definitely banana with chocolate chips but sometimes I like to change it up with different fruits and topping. This version was a definite winner. They didn't even miss the chocolate chips (maybe).

Thanks to Elena Bltheh for hosting the Countdown, and stay tuned for best Main Dishes tomorrow!






Monday, December 10, 2018

Hot Cocoa Fudge


Isn't this the cutest fudge you've ever seen?? I knew as soon as I spied it on Pinterest that I would have to make it. And those teeny, tiny marshmallows - they are almost too cute to eat. But I bet you can get over that pretty quickly because this candy is delicious.


I had never bought those mallow bits before but I easily found them at Target. They come in a little plastic jar-like container in the marshmallow section. I can't wait to find more uses for these little marshmallows.


Chocolate, white chocolate, and marshmallows - what a perfect little fudge this is!


Hot Cocoa Fudge

2 cups chocolate chips
1 - 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk, divided
1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups mallow bits

Line a 9x9 or 8x8 pan with foil, and then grease the foil.

In a microwave safe bowl combine white chocolate chips with 5 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk.

In a separate bowl combine chocolate chips with remaining sweetened condensed milk.

Microwave chocolate chips for 30 seconds, then stir. Heat for another 15 seconds then stir vigorously until chocolate is smooth. Transfer mixture into the pan and spread into an even layer.

Microwave white chocolate 30 seconds. Stir until smooth. Spread mixture on top of dark chocolate layer.

Top with mini marshmallows then gently press down. Refrigerate at least 6 hours to set.

Remove fudge and foil from pan. Carefully peel all foil from fudge. Cut fudge into bite sized pieces and serve.

Recipe Source: Wonky Wonderful

Monday, December 3, 2018

Frosted Gingerbread Bars


This is a fun, and slightly different, take on a holiday cookie. If you love gingerbread, you will love these bars. All the goodness of a gingerbread cookie covered in cream cheese frosting and sprinkled to look appropriately festive...

I really prefer bars to cookies - they're just easier! But besides eating them, I like serving them too - and they add a nice variety to a cookie tray or gifting box at this time of year.

I hope you'll try these if you need a new Christmas sweet!


Frosted Gingerbread Bars

1/2 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/3 cup molasses
1 egg
2 tsp. baking soda
2 cups flour
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt

Cream Cheese Frosting

8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

In a large bowl, cream together butter, sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, and molasses. Add the egg and stir until completely incorporated. Add baking soda, flour, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg and salt and mix until well combined. Spread dough evenly into a greased 9x13 pan, pressing all the way to the edges.

Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes (Do not over cook). Remove from the oven and let cool.

For the frosting, beat butter and cream cheese together then add vanilla. While mixing, gradually add in powdered sugar. Mix until creamy & well-combined.

Once the bars have cooled, frost the tops. Garnish with holiday sprinkles or a pinch of cinnamon. Cut into squares and serve.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Candy Cane Kiss Cheesecake Cookies


It's time for Christmas cookies! Every year I like to make a few new cookies as well as making tried and true, or my favorites from past years. I've made several versions of these "kiss" cookies, and all of them are so good: triple peppermint cookies, cherry kisses, chocolate peppermint swirl cookies, chocolate kissed gingerbread, and macaroon kisses.


These have a delightful bit of cream cheese in the batter which makes them so soft and so flavorful! Like the other kiss cookies, they're a snap to make, but the dough does need time to chill, so factor that into your planning. If you want to get fancy, you can drizzle these with white chocolate or decorating sugar, but I actually thought they were fine just as is!


Happy Baking!

Find more great ideas at Inspiration Monday, Busy Monday, Inspire Me, Hearth and Soul.

Candy Cane Kiss Cheesecake Cookies

1/2 cup butter, soft
6 oz cream cheese, soft
1 cup sugar (plus extra for rolling cookies in)
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp peppermint extract
2 cups flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
24 candy cane kisses, unwrapped
1/2 cup white chocolate chips, melted or decorating sugar

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter and cream cheese together until smooth. Mix in sugar, egg, egg yolk, vanilla, and peppermint extract and beat until creamy.

In a small bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. Slowly mix dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix until combined well.

Chill dough in the fridge for at least 1 hour.

Scoop into one-inch round balls and roll in sugar. Place on cookie sheets lined with parchment. Bake for about 10 minutes.

Let cool for a couple of minutes then press a candy cane kiss into the center of each cookie. Let cool for a couple more minutes then transfer to a cooling rack. Drizzle tops of cookies with melted white chocolate or sprinkle with decorating sugar.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Pumpkin Bars with Browned Butter Cream Cheese Frosting


I couldn't let November go by without posting SOMETHING made from pumpkin. And this is a very good something. I adapted a regular, old pumpkin bar recipe with cream cheese frosting (there is nothing wrong with those "regular" bars by the way!) and added browned butter. Browned butter amps up the "interesting" factor by about 100.


This makes a big pan - 11x7 - so there's plenty to share or to take to an event. They keep beautifully in the fridge for up to a week, so you can make them ahead as well.


These come together very quickly, so this is a great dessert option if you're a little short on time. And it's a perfect pumpkin alternative for those that don't care for pumpkin pie. (Something I will never understand, but I have my own dislikes, too, so I'll try to be forgiving. ha!)

Pumpkin Bars with Browned Butter Cream Cheese Frosting

Bars:
4 eggs
1 2/3 cups sugar
1 cup canola oil
1 can (15 oz) pumpkin puree *not pie filling*
2 cups flour
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt

Frosting:
1/4 cup butter
1 - 8oz. block cream cheese (regular or low fat)
3 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2-3 Tbsp. milk

In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat eggs, sugar, oil & pumpkin. Combine flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and gradually add to pumpkin mixture. Lightly coat an 11x17 with cooking spray. Transfer batter to the pan, spreading evenly. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes. Cool completely before frosting.

For the frosting, melt the butter in small saucepan over medium-low heat. Without stirring, and watching carefully, let the butter heat up until it is a golden brown color. (You can pick up the pan and swirl it once in a while, but be careful not to let it burn.) Let the butter cool slightly, about 10 minutes.

When the butter has slightly cooled, place the cream cheese in a small mixing bowl and pour the butter over. Mix with an electric mixer on low until the butter is incorporated, and then until smooth. Add the vanilla, then add the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, alternatively with the milk, until the frosting is a spreadable consistency.

Frost the bars when they have cooled. Store in the refrigerator.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Creamy Ground Chicken White Chili


I developed this recipe on a cold night, after having planned chicken lettuce wraps for dinner. I love chicken lettuce wraps, and my family does, too. But on this particular dreary, rainy, chilly day, I could not face eating lettuce for dinner! Ha! So I knew a soup was in order. I've made "regular" white chicken chili before, so I was sure that ground chicken would also lend itself well to this dish. And I was right. It was a big hit with my family.


You can adjust the spices based on your family's tastes...I've suggested the minimum amount here but feel free to increase it. You can also add some jalapeno slices if you need a little more kick.

Stay warm!


Creamy Ground Chicken White Chili

1 pound ground chicken
1 small white onion, diced
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. cayenne
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup milk
1 can cream of chicken soup
8 oz. cream cheese, cut into small pieces (low fat works great!)
1 can corn
1 can white Northern beans or white Kidney beans (Cannellini)
4-5 green onions, sliced
1 cup shredded cheddar or Mexican blend cheese
jalapeno slices

In a Dutch oven, over medium heat, cook the onion and chicken until chicken is cooked through. Sprinkle the chili powder, cumin, cayenne and salt over the meat and stir to combine. Add the chicken broth, milk, cream of chicken soup and cream cheese to the pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer.

Add the beans and corn and simmer for 10 minutes or until heated through. Adjust the spices to your liking, then ladle into bowls and top with cheese, green onions and sliced jalapenos, if you desire. Serves 6.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Peanut Butter Fudge Bars


Well, we've had a good run of entrees here for the last few weeks, so it's time to talk desserts. And this one is one of the best. I've been reading Mel's blog for a long time, and her recipes never disappoint.

These bars are a good example. A peanut butter cookie base topped with fudge and then more cookie? Ah-mazing. Chocolate isn't my favorite dessert (shocking I know, but true) but these bars are seriously right up there in my all time favorites. I even like them better straight out of the freezer... well, maybe not straight out, but let them thaw for 5-10 minutes, and goodness me. I had to hide these in the back of the freezer so they wouldn't get devoured.


And you probably will want to freeze them - this recipe makes an 11x17 pan, so you'll have enough for a party and then some. You can halve the recipe if you like (bake in a 9x13 if you do); or you can make it in two 9x13s and give one away!


Peanut Butter Fudge Bars

Peanut Butter Cookie Dough:

1 1/2 cups butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
4 1/2 cups flour
1 Tbsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt

Fudge:

1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 Tbsp. butter
Pinch of salt
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 tsp. vanilla extract


For the peanut butter cookie dough, in a large bowl cream together the butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar until light and creamy, 1-2 minutes. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix for another 1-2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Add the peanut butter and mix until combined. Stir in the dry ingredients until no dry streaks remain.

Reserve about 2 1/2 cups of the dough and set aside. Press the rest of the cookie dough in the bottom and into the corners of a greased 11x17 pan.

For the fudge, in a microwave-safe bowl, combine the sweetened condensed milk, butter, salt, chocolate chips and vanilla. Cook for 1-minute increments on 50% power, stirring in between, until the mixture is nearly melted; then stir until creamy.

Pour the fudge filling over the cookie dough layer and spread evenly with an offset spatula or knife.

Crumble the remaining cookie dough over the top in small pieces.

Bake the bars for 15 minutes – but don’t overbake! The cookie dough should be soft; resist the temptation to let them cook until browned. Let the bars cool completely before slicing and serving. The bars can be cut and stored in the refrigerator, well-covered, for several days or frozen for several months.

Recipe Source: Mel's Kitchen Cafe

Monday, October 29, 2018

Brunch Tostadas


Once in a while, I can recreate a great dish that I've enjoyed at a restaurant. Such is the case for these brunch tostadas. Now, to be clear, this is not the most complicated dish in the world. But still, it's something I would have never put together on my own had I not eaten it first somewhere else. And I'm so glad I did. (Both that I ordered it at the restaurant and that I made it at home!)

We had a fantastic long weekend in Kansas City recently and this was one of my favorite dishes. I had a hard time deciding what to order at The Corner Restaurant, because it all looked so good! But these tostadas won the morning, and now they have won themselves into the rotation at our house. And how could they not?? Crispy tostadas are topped with refried beans, guacamole, carnitas, queso freso and a sunny side up egg. The whole thing is just SO wonderful - and I can't wait for you to try it.


My kids exclaimed "you can make these again!" which is about the winningest endorsement I've heard. And I definitely will, if only because I love them so much!

If you've never bought tostadas before, they should be widely available in the Mexican aisle at your grocery. I bought mine at Aldi and they were cheap (shocking) and delicious. I suppose, if you're really ambitious, you could fry your own. Queso fresco, a Mexican cheese, is crumbly like feta and usually comes in a round. It also is widely available, even at Aldi.


I had leftover carnitas in the freezer that I simply warmed and crisped up in the frying pan. You won't need the whole recipe of carnitas for these tostadas, so be sure to put quesadillas or tacos on your menu for later in the week. Or, freeze the leftover carnitas - they freeze beautifully.

Also, it should be noted that I named these "brunch tostadas" because they have an egg on top! (And because I did eat them for breakfast at the restaurant.) However, at our house we eat them almost exclusively for dinner. So, no matter what they're called, I hope you will try them soon.

Get more great ideas at Inspiration Monday, Busy Monday, Inspire Me, Hearth and Soul, Fabulous.

Brunch Tostadas

8 tostadas
1 can refried beans
3-4 avocados (3 if large, 4 if not!)
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1-2 Tbsp. lime juice
1 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 tsp. salt
Carnitas
1/2 cup crumbled queso fresco
8 eggs

Prepare the guacamole by peeling and crushing the avocados. Stir in the red onion, lime juice, garlic and salt to taste.

Heat the tostadas in a 400-degree oven for 4-5 minutes or until fragrant and hot. Warm the beans in the microwave or in a saucepan on the stove top over low heat.

Heat a skillet over medium heat and spray with nonstick spray or melt 2 tsp butter. Cook the eggs until desired doneness, sunny side up.

Spread the refried beans among the tostadas, then top with guacamole. Place about 1/3 cup carnitas over each, then top with a cooked egg. Sprinkle queso fresco over the eggs and serve. Makes 8 tostadas.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Chicken Tikka Masala {Instant Pot}


Here is a great recipe for your Instant Pot for these cooler fall days. This dish was such a big hit in my family that the 13-year old took two big servings, and then placed a few grains of rice on her plate with one small piece of chicken. I inquired and she said "I'm so full but it's SO good. I don't want to stop eating!" That, my friends, is a ringing endorsement and one you should take seriously.


These kind of dishes are just made for the IP. I think pressure cooking helps intensify the spices - and it comes through here in a super flavorful combination. I've always thought this was a traditional Indian dish - but it turns out it was "invented" in a London curry house! No matter, we're just thankful someone invented it.


This is a simplified recipe; most chicken tikka masala recipes call for marinating the chicken in a yogurt before cooking. Here we just add it in with the tomatoes and the delightful onion, garlic and spice mixture. (You should be able to find garam masala in your grocery store spice aisle.)

I hope you'll try this soon - and I hope you get the same reaction I did from your family!

Chicken Tikka Masala {Instant Pot}

2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast
1 tsp. coconut oil
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. ginger, grated
2 Tbsp. garam masala
2 tsp. paprika
2 tsp. salt
28 oz canned fire roasted diced tomatoes
3/4 cup canned coconut milk
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped

Turn the Instant Pot on Saute mode. Add the coconut oil and let melt. Once melted add the onion, garlic, ginger, garam masala, paprika, and salt. Cook for 4-5 minutes until onions have softened. Press cancel to turn off the Saute mode. Add the tomatoes and scrape any browned bits off the bottom of the pot. Stir in the chicken.

Close and secure the lid and set it to manual for 15 minutes. After cooking, let rest for 5 minutes, then release the pressure.

Carefully open and stir in the coconut milk. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Stir in the cilantro or use it as a garnish.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Egg Roll in a Bowl


Well, I'm back from an unplanned summer/early fall hiatus. Life hasn't gotten easier or less complicated, but I am committed to posting regularly because I've been trying so many new, delicious recipes. I can't wait to share them all with you!

A few times a year, I find I have to go carb free for awhile to "undo" several months of less-than-ideal eating. Less than ideal for my clothes to fit, but super ideal for my taste buds, ha!

This is a fantastic recipe if you want all the deliciousness of a great Chinese meal, but no carbs. You won't even miss that deep fried wrapper. If you have any leftovers, they're great for lunch the next day - it seems like all the flavors intensify overnight. And speaking of intensity - you can make this as mild or as spicy as you like based on how much chili garlic sauce or sriracha you add.

This is one of our new favorite dishes. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!


Egg Roll in a Bowl

2 Tbsp. sesame oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup onion, diced
5 green onions, sliced on a bias
1 pound ground pork
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1 Tbsp. Sriracha or chili garlic sauce, more to taste
14 - 16 ounce bag coleslaw mix
3 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. rice vinegar
2 Tbsp. toasted sesame seeds

Heat sesame oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the garlic, onion, and white portion of the green onions. Sauté until the onions are translucent and the garlic is fragrant.

Add the ground pork, ground ginger and salt and pepper to taste. Sauté until the pork is cooked through. Add the coleslaw mix, Sriracha, soy sauce, and rice vinegar. Sauté until the coleslaw is tender.

Top with remaining green onions and sesame seeds before serving.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Baked Garlic Green Beans


Do you need to amp up the vegetable consumption in your life? Or find a way to get your kids to eat more veggies. If yes, then this super easy, super delicious preparation of green beans is for you. And maybe you eat plenty of veggies, but need a new inspiration - then this is for you, too.


Green beans are one of my favorite veggies and the kids at my house happily eat them as well. But when I made these, well, they gobbled them up. They actually asked for more and I didn't have any left on the pan! I think that may have been the first time we RAN OUT of vegetables at dinner! So, even though these aren't the most picturesque beans in the world, they are delicious, and they are super easy to prepare. I hope they'll make frequent appearances on your table this summer.



Baked Garlic Green Beans

1 to 1 1/2 pounds fresh green beans, rinsed and ends cut off
4-5 cloves garlic, chopped or minced
1 Tbsp. olive oil

Place green beans in a large bowl. Drizzle olive oil over green beans and toss. Add garlic and stir well to coat all the beans. Season with salt and pepper to your taste. Pour beans onto a lightly greased baking sheet (or use a silpat liner).

Bake at 350 for 17-20 minutes, tossing half way through the cooking process. Serves 4-6.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Sausage, Shrimp and Vegetable Skillet Dinner


I'm always on the look out for fast, easy and delicious meals - they are a life saver on weeknights, especially busy weeknights that involve sports practice, music concerts, and who knows what else. When you have less than an hour to cook AND eat, you have a bit of a challenge. But this is one of those recipes that comes to the rescue! And it only dirties one pan. Save the dishes for after the concert!


I added more meat and vegetables than the original recipe, so I ended up using my large electric skillet so that everything could cook evenly. It worked like a charm. And the best part? It's tremendously versatile - use your favorite veggies or the ones that are languishing in the fridge. I loved zucchini and asparagus together but I'm sure there are many other combinations that would be equally great. Quickly chop up the veggies and sausage, thaw the shrimp, and you'll have a really delicious dinner on the table in no time.


Find more great ideas at Inspiration Monday, Busy Monday, Inspire Me.

Sausage, Shrimp and Vegetable Skillet Dinner

2 tsp. olive oil or coconut oil
12 oz. large cooked shrimp
2 tsp. Old Bay seasoning
12 oz. smoked sausage or keilbasa, chopped
1 cup diced red bell pepper
3/4 cup medium yellow onion, large diced
1 zucchini, chopped
1/2 pound asparagus, tough ends removed and chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup chicken broth
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat (or use a large electric skillet at 350) and add coconut or olive oil. Season shrimp with Old Bay seasoning and set aside.

Cook onions and bell peppers in skillet with for about 2 minutes; add sausage and zucchini to the skillet, cook another 2 minutes. Add shrimp and asparagus into skillet along with the garlic, and cook for 1 minute, then add chicken broth mix well to moisten all the vegetables. Salt and pepper to taste, and sprinkle with red pepper flakes. Serves 6.

Recipe Source: Adapted from Paleo Newbie

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Coconut Curry Chicken Meatballs


I've been doing the Whole 30 this month. Have you ever tried it? It's been good to "re-set" my body and take a break from junk, and it has also motivated me to try new recipes. This was one I made and loved, so I wanted to share it with you!

I love red curry, and these meatballs are bathed in a delicious red curry coconut sauce. I made regular rice for my family members who are not "whole 30" complaint (ha!) and these would be really good over cauliflower rice as well.


These chicken meatballs are chock full of carrots, onion and herbs and spices. They reminded me a little of falafel, which I am also a huge fan of! It doesn't matter if you're doing the Whole 30 or not, these have such great flavor that you and your whole family will love them. Add some variety to your dinner time, and make these meatballs as soon as you can!


Find more great ideas at Inspiration Monday, Busy Monday, Inspire Me, Inspire Me 2, Fabulous, Wow Me, Wow Us, Whisk It, Let's Party, Hearth and Soul, Full Plate, Weekend Potluck, Sugar and Spice, Awesome Friday.

Coconut Curry Chicken Meatballs

Meatballs:
1/2 cup roughly chopped carrots
1/4 red onion, chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Juice of 1 lime
2 tsp. basil
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. ginger
1 clove garlic
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. red chili flakes
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 pound ground chicken

Sauce:
1 can coconut milk
1 Tbsp. red curry paste
1 Tbsp. almond or peanut butter
2 Tbsp. lime juice
1 tsp. minced garlic

Place all the meatball ingredients except chicken in a food processor and pulse until chopped. Transfer to a bowl, add the chicken and mix well. Roll into 1 1/2 – 2″ balls and place them on a lined or greased pan. Bake at 400 for 20 minutes, then gently turn the meatballs over and bake them for an additional 15.

Meanwhile, prepare the sauce. In a large skillet, over medium heat, heat the coconut milk. Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. When the meatballs are cooked, add them to the sauce, stir to coat and simmer for 2-3 minutes.

Serve over rice or cauliflower rice. Makes 6 servings.


Recipe Source: The Bewitchin Kitchen

Monday, April 16, 2018

Oatmeal Dulce de Leche Bars


Here is a super sweet, super delicious bar to help get you through these last few days of winter. I loved these served chilled, so that the dulce de leche is nice and sticky in between the layers of oatmeal cookie dough. As I said, these are suh-weet. So make sure you have a big cup of coffee or a tall glass of milk (or vanilla ice cream for sugar overload factor) when you eat one (or two, or three).


I made my own dulce de leche in the instant pot. I only used about 1 1/2 cans of sweetened condensed milk, and that made plenty of dulce de leche. (of course, if you are prone to eat this out of the jar with a spoon, you might need to make the full two cans, in two separate batches. The can and a half filled my pint jar TO THE BRIM and it still worked beautifully.) There are various versions online for making dulce de leche in the crock pot or stove top, too, so feel free to do what works best for you - or just buy it at your grocery!

Whatever you do, you will love these bars. (And so you will your dentist, ha!)

Find more inspiration at Full Plate, Wonderful Wednesday, Let's Party, Whisk It, Wow Me, Wow Us, Hearth and Soul, Awesome Friday, Weekend Potluck, Sugar and Spice.

Oatmeal Dulce de Leche Bars

2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs
1/3 cup milk
2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
2 1/2 cups flour
3 cups oatmeal
2 {14 oz.} cans Dulce de Leche

Cream the sugar and butter together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix thoroughly. Mix in milk and vanilla.

In a medium bowl, combine salt, baking soda, flour, and oats. Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture, 1/2 cup at a time.

Press 2/3 of the cookie dough into a greased 9x13" prepared pan.

Transfer the Dulce de Leche to a medium, microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high for 60 seconds, stirring every 15 seconds. Spread the Dulce de Leche over the cookie dough in the pan. Top with spoonfuls of the remaining cookie dough.

Bake at 350 for 25 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack, then refrigerate for several hours before serving.

Recipe Source: Adapted from High Heels and Grills
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