Saturday, March 5, 2011

Rules Of Engagement

The first rule when using a mandolin is USE THE FINGER GUARD!

I am so excited to have Mike home. I can cook for someone who loves to eat. I love with food. I used to laugh at Sofia and tease that food is her love language. If you feed her, you will get a hug and a few I Love You's. Now, my motto has become, "Come in, sit down and be loved" I love to feed my friends and family. I hope they love to eat as much as I love to feed!

Back to the rules...practice probably makes perfect. Had I used this thing more than once I may have remembered how important the finger guard really is! It is okay if you have to throw out part of the veggie to save your fingertips. Should you choose a life of crime, fingerprint-less fingers would come in handy.

Sweet potato "coins" are on the menu for lunch, along with spinach-feta turkey burgers wrapped in green leaf lettuce and steamed broccoli with butter salt and pepper(our favorite way).

Sweet Potato "Coins"

2 sweet potatoes, sliced
olive oil
chili powder
lime juice

Slice, marinade and bake! 400 degree oven for at least 25 minutes, don't be affraid to let them get good and brown!

Spinach-Feta Turkey Burgers

Ground turkey
spinach leaves, chopped
red pepper flakes
minced onions

Season any way you like, mix, make patties and grill.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Eat Up!

Cooking creativity comes and goes for me. When I'm on it, watch out and when I'm not, you'll have to stop me from throwing every single dish and pot in the trash!
This week a took a page out of Chipotle's menu and made it my own and also found some creative uses for the leftovers!
First, I made some beef tips in the crock pot and topped a romaine salad with the beef, rice, cheese, black bean and corn salsa, more "regular" salsa and put a few chips on the side.
Then, I mixed the brown rice with the black bean salsa and the next day scrambled eggs and made a whole wheat burrito with eggs, cheese, and brown rice/salsa mix.
Today I used the remaining rice to make a grilled cheese with a "fried style" egg and of course brown rice/salsa mix. Incredible!

Here are a few of the recipes with plenty of room for interpretation!

Mexican Beef Tips

2lbs beef tips
1 can rotel
cumin, corriander, salt, pepper
fresh garlic
chopped onion

Once th ebeef tips have cooked in the crock pot transfer them to a baking sheet, squeeze the juice from half and orange and bake on 375 for 30 minutes. Turn the beef tips a few times to brown/crisp equally. This will take your beef tips from a taco/burrito consistency(saucy) to a carnitas feel(drier but flavorful).
Like I said, plenty of room for interpretation. You as much or as little of the seasonings or change them up for more of an Asain flair. I would love to know how you would do it differently.

Black Bean and Corn Salsa
This is our favorite Girl's Night In staple. My friend Tiff makes it and I have to say, mine was not nearly as good. Tiff, if you are reading this. Tell me how to perfect it!

1 can black beans drained and rinsed
1 can corn, no salt or sugar added
chooped onion
2 diced tomatoes
lime juice
Chop, mix, chill. Basically!

I made the brown rice as directed on the bag. When I mixed it with the salsa above, I added 2T olive oil and more lime juice.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

What A Difference A Mixer Makes

We made pancakes this morning. Nothing fancy, nothing was different except the mixer. I tell you what, the Kitchen Aid mixer makes a HUGE difference! I have made pancakes many times and never been thrilled with the results. Today was the first time I have made and happily devoured pancakes!


  • 1 1/2  cups  all-purpose flour
  • 2  teaspoons  baking powder
  • 1  teaspoon  sugar
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/2  cup  fat-free egg substitute or 2 eggs
  • 1 1/4  cups  low-fat milk
  • 3  tablespoons  shortening, melted


1. Combine flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in KitchenAid Stand Mixer bowl. Add remaining ingredients. Attach bowl and flat beater to mixer. Turn to Speed 4 and mix until ingredients are combined, about 30 seconds. Stop and scrape bowl. Turn to Speed 4 and mix until smooth, about 15 seconds.

3. Spray griddle or heavy skillet with no-stick cooking spray. Heat griddle to medium-high heat. Pour about 1/3 cup batter for each pancake onto griddle.

4. Cook 1 to 2 minutes, or until bubbles form on surface and edges become dry. Turn and cook 1 to 2 minutes longer, or until golden brown on underside.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Homemade and Repainted

Today has been rather productive considering I am fighting some kind of virus. I managed to make homemade chicken nuggets and repaint a mirror. I also swept the floors and started some laundry. Whew! I hope I can keep this up today!

Homemade Chicken Nuggets

2 boneless/skinless chicken breast (or whatever you have) cut into bite sized pieces
1 or more cloves of garlic crushed
2T spicy brown mustard
pepper to taste

Marinade the chicken bites in the above mix for 30 minutes

1 cup bread crumbs
grated Parmesan cheese
poultry seasoning

Mix dry ingredients together in a separate bowl.

Spoon chicken pieces, 5 or so at a time, into the dry mix. Using a slotted spoon, coat the chicken and place on a greased cookie sheet.
Bake at 475 for 15 minutes

Have you even seen ornate GOLD mirrors and thought, "Gee, I'm just not a gold kind of person"? That's me! I have no use for anything gold, including jewelry. My good friend gave me a huge, gold mirror and today I finally painted it so it could be hung!
Never fret, grab that inexpensive mirror at Goodwill or yard sales, put on a thin coat of primer and top it with latex paint of your choice. Don't worry about the details and all the nooks and crannies. Just slap it on, shabby it up a bit and put on the wall...or better yet, sell it for a nice profit!
(not finished, just in progress)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

What is your favorite You Tube video?

What We Were Made For

 I sometimes read a blog called The Devoted Woman. Today she wrote about what we were created for, to bring glory to God, everyday, in all we do.

The first part really stood out to me this morning. As my heart breaks for friends facing hardships, trials and disappointments, I find myself struggling to pray for them. I can't find the words. Lately my specific prayer has been Matt 26:39 and recently my focus has turned to glory, our intended purpose. 

In all areas of life, when we surrender our will, our bodies and our lives to the will of God and ask that He will do with us whatever will bring Him the most Glory, we are fulfilling our intended purpose. 

Wow! This is so much easier said than done but, just imagine how incredible it could be!

The Devoted Woman says it so much better than I did so please read a small part of today's post. Click the link above to view the entire blog and website!

 God's glory is our only priority

Did you know that according to Isaiah 43:7, you and I were created specifically for God's glory? Yes, this is the very reason we were born and what we are to strive for always in our life - to glorify God Almighty. What an awesome thought, huh?

God formed mankind with His own hands... He gave us purpose to tend and care for a planet He customized exclusively for our existence. And He did so with the intent that we would reflect His light while living in acknowledgment of His eternal beauty and splendor. Furthermore, He made us special in His eyes. He always planned on relating with us on the most personal and intimate level. Yes, God made man (in His own image, mind you) to love and honor His Name while showering us with unending blessings beyond measure. What a good and generous God we were made to serve. For the Creator of all things has offered us each the sweetest, most fulfilling life......See more here, The Devoted Woman

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Beans Beans The Musical Fruit

Tonight I rocked the house with dinner. Mind you, this doesn't happen very often so I am extra excited tonight! I think what makes this soup so special is the fact that it's main ingredient is black beans, and I don't like black beans!

Brianne's version of black bean soup:

1 1/2 c Chicken broth
1 1/2c Water
1 Medium onion chopped
2 Cloves of garlic
1 1/2t Cumin-give or take
If you like real spicy soup, add red pepper flakes

Boil the above ingredients until onions are soft. Add:

2 Cans of La Costena Black Beans (19.75 oz)
1 Can of Rotel tomatoes
1 Rotisserie chicken or any type of meat you want to add

Bring to a boil and cook for 20 minutes. I covered them to minimize moisture loss.
Use immersion blender or food processor to mash the beans and tomato mixture. I used minimal broth in the food processor and returned beans to the pot.
Add rotisserie chicken, chopped of course.

Add a 10 oz can of diced tomatoes and simmer 10 minutes or put on low until you are ready to serve.

Top with rough chopped cilantro and lime juice

Get ready! It is awesome!