Monthly Archives: October 2013

Skillet Raviolis

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This meal came together fairly quickly, which is a plus in my book. I modified the original recipe left and right. Like a lot. Almost barely used it. It was still extremely saucy when I was done so I would recommend using more ravioli. I used one and a half bags but I will use two next time or just cut it in half. I also am not a huge fan of ricotta so I used mini ravioli so there wouldn’t be so much of it, but meat or veggie filled would be awesome as well. I started this dish in my 10″ skillet and ended up switching it to my big stockpot as I added half of the can of tomatoes and it was about to overflow so a big skillet is necessary or just use a pot.

Skillet Raviolis

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Original Recipe

Skillet Ravioli

1lb Ground beef or ground sausage

1/2 Onion, diced

2T Minced garlic

1T EVOO

1 28oz Can crushed tomatoes

1T Dried basil

1t Dried oregano

1 Chicken bouillon cube

2- 20 oz Packages of frozen ravioli

Italian seasonings to taste

Garlic salt to taste

1/4c Parmesan cheese

Mozzarella cheese to top

1. Heat EVOO in pan until hot and add onion and garlic. Let cook a few minutes and then add ground beef or sausage and sauté until cooked all the way through and browned.

Skillet Raviolis

Yes, I forgot onions the second time when I took this picture, whoops.

2. Add the rest of ingredients to the pan, except for the cheese.

Skillet Raviolis

3. Cover and let cook until raviolis are warmed and delicious. Make sure to stir it every now and then so the ravioli doesn’t stick to the bottom.

Skillet Raviolis

It looks so delicious in the pot!

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(First time when there was too much sauce)

Skilet Raviolis

(second time where sauce ratio was actually correct)

3. Stir in parmesean cheese and sprinkle with desired amount of mozzarella cheese.

Skillet Raviolis

Try to let cheese melt before picture but start drooling instead and get impatient

This recipe is tried and true! I have now made it according to my own directions and it turned out! The second time I made it I used sausage instead of beef and it was awesome! I also cut it in half so that we wouldn’t have so much and the sauce ratio was perfect this time.

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Salsa!

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If you think homemade salsa is hard, you are wrong. I found one recipe for salsa that changed my life and I have now started deviating from it. The original calls for canned tomatoes and canned chipotles and I have started doing it fresh.

Easy Blender Salsa

I have deviated from this but only slightly. The only main difference is now I use whatever I have on hand that is fresh. This week it was tomatoes, cayenne peppers, onion, garlic, lime juice, cilantro, and garlic salt. I usually use all of the tomatoes and half an onion and then add a little less of everything else that I think and let it sit for a day. The next day I’ll taste it and add anything if necessary. Usually it’s hot peppers as I never know how hot they will be. I do process mine in a food processer so it’s not too chunky so the boy will eat it, but normally, I like a little chunk to it. This is how my last batch turned out (with chimichangas, recipe here.)

 

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Chicken Chimichangas

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Let’s just start with salsa. I love salsa. Especially salsa from Mexican restaurants. But I don’t go out for Mexican food very often so I finally mustered up the courage to make my own a few months ago and let me just say. AWESOME. I will put a post up on that in a few. There is such a difference between fresh and not fresh salsa. You will never buy salsa again. And it’s SO easy. Back on point. Chimichangas. I’m not sure if I’ve ever actually had them in real life until last week but essentially a fried burrito without rice. Getting rid of my least favorite part of burritos and making it fried? Yea, I’m sold. I found this recipe for oven fried chimichangas and figured I would give it a try since Mexican used to be all the boy ate until I got here. Now he eats more than tacos and enchiladas haha

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Original Recipe

Chicken Chimichangas

2 Chicken breasts

1/2c Salsa (use the chunky part more than the juice)

1/2t Oregano

1/2t Cumin

1 Handful Colby Jack or Mexican blend cheese

Small handful green onions, chopped

4 Tortillas

2T Butter, melted

Sour cream, salsa, guac, cheese, whatever you want to serve it with

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees

2. Sauté chicken on stovetop and once cooked, shred.

3. Add salsa, cumin, oregano, cheese, and green onions and mix well. You may want to add more salsa or hot sauce if you want it spicier or saucier.

4. Spray oven safe pan with non stick spray and get ready to roll chimichangas. I placed my tortillas in the microwave for a few seconds first so that they would not crack while I was rolling

5. Place 1/4 of the filling in the middle of each tortilla. Fold the ends in and then roll up so the filling does not fall out. Rub melted butter on the outside so they crisp up nicely

6. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown and top with your desire of toppings. I just like sour cream and salsa on mine

Look how crispy they look! I used one multi grain tortilla for the boy and his turned out just as good but I think the flour looks prettier

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Cajun Baby Tomato Pasta

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So baby tomatoes. I’m making them a vegetable. Starting now. I bought little tomatoes at the farmer’s market this week and I’m not sure if they’re grape or cherry or some weird unknown breed of tomatoes I’m unaware of. So they are now deemed baby tomatoes. Using fresh tomatoes in pasta is one of my favorite things in the world. But I dislike the taste of fresh tomatoes by themselves so this is the perfect way to add some spice to them but still enjoy their freshness.

In the original recipe, they use cheese. I omit that completely. This recipe was more of an inspiration that anything as I barely followed it. Normally, I always use salt in my tomato sauce, however, since Cajun spice usually has a lot of salt in it, I wait until that is added and will add salt if necessary. I use Tony Chachee’s More Spicy and do not need any extra salt. Also, as far as tomatoes, I used about as many would fit in my hands if my fingers were super webbed so that the tomatoes wouldn’t fall through my fingers. I’m pretty sure it was about 2 cups or so. I used a 1qt saucepan for my tomatoes and it looked like this after they started cooking…

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If you like saucy pasta, I would add another cup of tomatoes.

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Original Recipe

Cajun Baby Tomato Pasta

6oz Dried Spaghetti

2c Baby tomatoes

1t Minced garlic

1T EVOO

1t Dried basil

Dash of black pepper

1t Cajun seasoning

1. Bring pot of water to boil and cook noodles according to directions

2. Set pot on high and add baby tomatoes. Cover and let cook until the skin pops and you can smash them

3. Turn heat down; smash tomatoes and add garlic, EVOO, basil, pepper, and Cajun seasoning. Start off small with the Cajun seasoning, you can always add more. Let simmer while pasta finishes cooking.

4. Drain pasta and serve topped with tomatoes

Spicy Sausage Pasta

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So I haven’t cooked in about a week. I feel so weird, like a piece of me is missing. I found that piece today. It was my entire kitchen. It fell out of my heart and right to the front of the house. Luckily, it’s back in my heart where it belongs =] Luckily the boy took decently good care of my while my heart was empty. Brought me Gatorade when I was dehydrated and didn’t complain about the immense amount of soup I ate in bed. He did steal some of the ciabatta bread I bought though. I don’t blame him, it was roasted garlic flavored and DELICIOUS!!

I worked a ton today, well lots of manual labor at work by myself so I needed something low maintenance and this fit the bill. I’ve made this before as written and it’s great. Today I halved it so if you want to feed more than 2, double it. I also thought I had rotel tomatoes. I didn’t. I had tomatoes with chipotles! It was still delicious but a little spicy for me.

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Original Recipe

Spicy Sausage Pasta

1T EVOO

1/2 Package of kielbasa sausage

1/2 Onion, diced

1T Minced garlic

1c Chicken broth

1/2 Can Rotel tomatoes

1/4c Milk

4oz Penne

Dash of pepper

1/2c Monterey or Colby Jack cheese, shredded

1 slice Pepper jack cheese

Green onions

1. Heat EVOO in pan and add onions, sausage, and garlic. Brown just a few minutes or until onions just start to soften

2. Add chicken broth, rotel, milk, pepper, and penne. Bring to a boil and cover. Cook until pasta is tender. I did have to add a little more water at the end as the noodles weren’t quite soft but had soaked up all the liquid.

3. Stir in Colby jack cheese until melted. You can either broil the pepper jack cheese on top, or cut it in strips and stir it in. I stirred mine in. Add in a few green onions and give it a good stir!

Beef (or Mushroom) Bourguignon

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Bourguignon is one of my favorite savory dishes. Well anything with sauce and egg noodles is pretty much my favorite dish. Yummy. Now my mouth is watering. Anyway, the boy was away buying a boat over the weekend so I splurged and ate a whole pack of mushrooms over 24 hours since he hates them. So I figured I would make him something super delicious when he came back and this is what came to mind. I got the super approval from him, he didn’t even add hotsauce! (That is a big accomplishment, fyi) The original recipe calls for mushrooms, but the real dish is beef. I’ve made it with just mushrooms before and loved it so I switched it up this time. It is a little time consuming, but worth it.

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Don’t forget to wipe the drool off your keyboard.

Original Recipe

Beef Bourguignon

3T Butter

1lb, Steak, sliced thin (Sub mushrooms, sliced, for vegetarian)

1/2 Carrot, minced

1/2 Onion, minced

2T Minced garlic

1c Red wine, I used merlot

2c Veggie broth, I use Better Than Bouillon

2T Tomato paste

1t Fresh thyme or 1/2t dried

1 1/2T Flour

Egg Noodles

1. Melt 2T butter in pan and add onion, carrot, garlic, thyme, and a shake of salt and pepper. Saute on low heat until carrots are softened.

2. Add wine and turn the heat up. Reduce the liquid by half

3. Bring pot of water to a boil and cook egg noodles while everything is simmering.

4. Stir in tomato paste and broth and let simmer 20 minutes. Meanwhile, cook the steak the way you like, I sauté mine in a pan. I also leave it a little rare so it cooks in the sauce later when you add it.

5. Melt 1T butter and add flour to it. Stir into sauce and let simmer to thicken. Add steak at this point so it can absorb some flavor.

6. Serve sauce and steak over egg noodles and top with chopped chives and parsley. Enjoy!

Chinese Chicken and Mushrooms

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Chinese food is essentially one of my favorite foods ever. Except I like the cheap, greasy, delicious kind. Usually in excess, buffet style. However, I don’t love the gross feeling afterwards. The self loathing and hatred. It doesn’t go well with fried rice. Or crab ragoons, which have none of the previously stated effect. Yumm. Anyway, I’ve come across a few Chinese recipes lately that are perfect replicas to the buffet without the self hatred. I did cut the meat and veggies for this in half, but left the full amount of sauce, cause I like sauce.

Chinese Chicken and Mushrooms

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Original Recipe

Chinese Chicken and Mushrooms

1 Chicken breast

1/2 Zucchini

4oz Mushrooms

1T Oil (I use extra virgin olive oil, but the original suggests peanut)

Sauce:

1/4c Chicken broth

1T Soy sauce

2T Sherry (I didn’t have any so I used Merlot with a splash of rice vinegar)

1t Sugar

1/8t Ground ginger

1T Cornstarch

Water

1. Cut and trim chicken breasts to desired size, I cubed mine

2. Sprinkle chicken and zucchini with garlic salt. Heat oil in pan

3. Cook chicken, zucchini, and mushrooms until cooked thoroughly and veggies are tender

4. Meanwhile, mix all ingredients for sauce except cornstarch and water

5. Mix cornstarch and a little water until thoroughly mixed.

6. Add sauce to chicken and veggies and bring to a boil

7. Turn heat down to simmer and stir in the cornstarch and water mixture. Mix well and let cook until sauce is thickened to your desire. Took about three minutes for me, but wish I would have done it a little longer.

Note: If you want the chicken and veggies to have more flavor instead of just being coated with sauce, add the sauce mixture when chicken and veggies are about halfway done cooking. This is the way I will do it next time. Or when they look like this, just starting to cook.

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Chinese Chicken and Mushrooms

Chinese Chicken and Mushrooms

This recipe is tried and true! I made it again according to my directions and it turned out awesome! I did forget the zucchini but I added the sauce earlier like I was talking about and it definitely helped with the flavor and reducing it. It was nice and thick and definitely fully coated my chicken and mushrooms and wasn’t super runny. Ate it with rice this time and it was delicious!