Balsamic Roast with Carrots and Onions over Mashed Potatoes

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So, I completely forgot to have a “pretty plate” to take a picture of! I had my cousin and her boyfriend come visit us, and I served this yummy dinner. So, we all just served up a plate, and sat down! My husband goes “you didn’t take a picture…”. Yeah, it’s that often now that I have this blog, that he realizes when such a thing is absent! HA! So, I quick whipped out my camera, and took this beauty… heh. Oh well!

Mashed potatoes are a recipe listed previously. Rolls also. The salad is just a lettuce salad with a cilantro lime dressing you can find here (my mom made it): http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/sunny-anderson/shredded-tex-mex-salad-with-creamy-lime-dressing-recipe.html

So, this recipe will be primarily for the Beef. You can hardly see it in the picture, it’s not spotlighted at all… BUT, my cousin’s boyfriend, Andrew, called it stupendous! So!!!!!! I’d say it went off well!!! ūüôā Shari (my cousin) says, “yes, put on your blog that your guests thoroughly enjoyed it!”. So, here I did!

Balsamic Beef Roast with Carrots and Onions

Ingredients:

  • 3¬†lb beef chuck roast
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 onion cut in large pieces
  • 8 carrots peeled and cut into large pieces
  • 1-2 tsp of minced garlic

 

Directions:

  1. Place the roast on the bottom of the crock pot and press the brown sugar onto the top of the roast firmly.
  2. Whisk together all the remainig  ingredients and add to the to the top of the roast. add onions and carrots. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Remove roast and shred with a fork, return to juices.
  3. Serve and enjoy. The gravy is delicious with mashed potatoes too!

 

 

Quote of the Day:

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Lemon Zucchini Muffins with a Lemon Glaze

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These are DELICIOUS! They are so light and fluffy, and lemony! They taste like summer! And, you get to use up a zucchini that’s been sitting in your fridge for a little bit too long! YUM!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups¬†all purpose flour (then remove 2 TB and put back into bag of flour)
  • 2 Tb of corn starch ( to replace the 2 TB of flour you removed)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 cups sugar
  • 2 TB lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk (If you don’t have buttermilk, just add 1/2 TB of white vinegar to your milk and let sit for 2-3 min)
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup zucchini grated (on the cheese grater)

Glaze Ingredients:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 TB lemon juice
  • 1 TB skim milk (or unsweetened coconut milk)

Directions:

  1. Mix flour, salt, corn starch and baking powder in a medium bowl and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat eggs. Then add oil and sugar until well blended. Add lemon juice, buttermilk, lemon zest to this mixture and blend all together.
  3. Fold in zucchini until it is mixed well.
  4. Add dry mixture to the wet mixture and blend all together until well combined.
  5. Pour batter into greased muffin tin. It makes about 16 muffins.
  6. Bake at 350 for 12-15  minutes.
  7. While still warm, make glaze and spoon over the muffins and then sprinkle lemon zest over the top.

Lemon Poppyseed Chicken with Mint-Basil Couscous

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This is one of my “comfort” foods. Like, when I’ve had a long day, I like to make this and just inhale it! The chicken always turns out, and it always hits the spot.

This is my adaptation of Rachael Ray’s recipe:¬†http://www.rachaelrayshow.com/recipe/15613_Lemon_Poppy_Chicken_With_Sweet_Pea_amp_Mint_Couscous/index.html

I only changed two things, so it’s still HER recipe. Please visit her website above for her version!!!

 

  • 2 1/2 cups¬†vegetable¬†stock, divided
  • 1/2 bag of frozen sweet baby peas
  • 1¬†cup israeli couscous
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 1 cup flour
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 lemons zested, 1 juiced
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken tenderloins, cut into bite-size pieces(I used 6 chicken tenderloins)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 10 leaves of basil, chopped
  • 10 leaves of mint, chopped

– See more at: http://www.rachaelrayshow.com/recipe/15613_Lemon_Poppy_Chicken_With_Sweet_Pea_amp_Mint_Couscous/index.html#sthash.5ikV4uxH.dpuf

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Directions:

Place a medium-size saucepot over high heat and add 1 1/2 cups of the vegetable stock. Bring to a boil then add the peas and the couscous. Place a lid on the pot and turn off the heat. Let sit for 5 minutes. (Israeli Couscous has different prep instructions. If you use this kind of coucous please follow the proper directions on the box!)

While the stock is coming up to a boil for the couscous, place a large skillet over high heat with 3 turns of the pan of EVOO, about 3-4 tablespoons. While the skillet is heating up, place the flour on a plate. Toss the chicken in the flour to coat, shaking off any excess. Add the chicken pieces to the hot skillet. Season the chicken liberally with salt, pepper and the lemon zest, and cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring every now and then to get them brown all over.

Once the chicken has browned, add the remaining cup chicken stock to the skillet. Once the stock is hot, add the butter and poppy seeds. Stir until the butter has melted and the sauce has thickened up a bit, about a minute. Turn off the heat and squeeze the juice of 1 lemon into the pan.

With a microplane or the smallest grade of a handheld box grater, grate in the garlic the last 2 minutes of cooking.

– See more at: http://www.rachaelrayshow.com/recipe/15613_Lemon_Poppy_Chicken_With_Sweet_Pea_amp_Mint_Couscous/index.html#sthash.5ikV4uxH.dpuf

 

Quote of the Day:

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Blueberry Banana White Chocolate Bread

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This bread was AMAZING!!! Besides the fact that it smells like absolute HEAVEN when it’s baking… DELICIOUS… oh man… dessert, breakfast, mid-day snack… whatever. YUM! My family loves it, and I brought it as a snack to my friends… and they enjoyed it too!!! YUMMY!!!

Ingredients:

1/2 cup unsweetened organic applesauce
2 Tb butter at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar (or could use 1/2 cup honey)
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp sea  salt
3/4 tsp. baking soda
2 ripe bananas mashed
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
1/3 cup organic low-fat PLAIN yogurt

1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup blueberries (DRY, fresh. Then toss in 1 Tb of flour.) I used frozen, thawed and dried a bit on a paper towel and tossed in 1 Tb of flour.

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1. Preheat oven to 350¬įF. Spray a 9×5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt.
3. In a separate large bowl, beat the sugar and butter and applesauce with an electric mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 1 minute). Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the banana, yogurt, and vanilla; beat until blended. Stir in the flour mixture; just until moist. Don’t over-mix. Stir in the chocolate chunks and then gently stir in the blueberries. If you want, you can sprinkle a few additional chocolate chunks and blueberries¬†on the top to make it look pretty.
4. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 15 minutes in the pan on a wire rack. Remove from pan and cool completely on the wire rack.

*This recipe turns out perfect for me, so here are the details: We bake at sea level in a greased glass blue pyrex pan and we bake on the middle rack in a electric oven.
*If you use frozen blueberries, dry off and toss in flour. Do not wash and then toss in, you want to DRY as much as possible so you don’t add too much moisture.
*If you bake in a dark metal pan or if you are baking at a different altitude or using an gas oven, you may possibly get different results.
*Oven temperatures can vary quite a bit, so if you have an oven thermometer that is helpful to see if yours is recording the right temperature.
*If the top is browning too quickly, cover the top with foil in the middle of baking to prevent it from browning further.

Bake, and ENJOY!!!

 

Quote of the Day:

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Short Ribs – Served 2 Ways… and mighty good either way!!!

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Short Ribs, served on top of cheesy grits OR garlic, parmesan mashed potatoes…. You choose!!

I was watching one of my favorite cooking shows the other day, and someone made short ribs. I was thinking… short ribs?! I could do that, right? I have GOT to try that if they make it on a cooking show. They must be amazing!!! So, I found a recipe and adapted it to make it my own. And I have found out…. I LOVE short ribs! They were incredibly easy too!!! You could cook a roast the same way! LOVE! You could even do sirloin tips, etc similarly. Easy and quick recipe!

Ingredients (including grits AND potatoes… you can choose either though)

6-8 individual short ribs (or more depending on the size of your crowd! You want about 1-2 per person)
3-4 TB butter (4 if you want to top the ribs after serving with a bit of butter)
1 TB minced garlic
1/4 onion cut roughly (larger pieces)
1 cup red wine (I used an “Old Vine Zinfandel”) this is optional, you can just use beef broth; OR substitute with a dark beer
1 cup low sodium organic beef broth
4 carrots cut into large pieces
salt & pepper
1 TB Worcestershire sauce
3 TB quick cooking white grits (or yellow grits… your preference)
3/4 cup water (for grits)
5-6 red potatoes
2 TB milk
2 TB parmesan cheese

 

Directions:

Place cast iron skillet (or normal skillet) on stove and heat up. Do not put oil in the skillet. While it is heating up, dry the short ribs with a paper towel, and sprinkle sea salt and pepper on all sides of the short ribs. Then, making sure the skillet is hot, sear the short ribs on all sides so they have a nice crust. Only about 30 seconds per side. Then, place into your crock pot. When you remove the short ribs from the pan, DO NOT dump any drippings from the pan. (You can also do this in a dutch oven baking at 350 for 3-4 hours). Put your crock pot on HIGH for cooking for 4-5 hours, put on LOW to cook for 7-8 hours. Add 1/4 cup of the beef broth to the skillet that you just finished searing the meat in. Then add the garlic and the onions to the skillet and stir into the simmering beef broth. Once that’s simmering, add 1/4 cup of the¬†wine and a tsp of the worcestershire sauce and 1 TB of butter. Simmer that until it reduces by half. While that is simmering, add the remaining liquids into the crock pot and place a small amount of the butter onto the top of each of the short ribs. Once the liquid in the skillet has reduced, pour that into the crock pot and place the lid onto the crock pot.

Cook as directed above until the meat is about falling off of the bone…. And… if you want some gravy, just take about 1 cup of the drippings, place into a sauce pan, add a TB or a bit more of flour… Simmer and WHISK vigorously until thickened!

When it’s about time to serve the short ribs, you’ll want to make your sides. The wilted spinach in the above picture, all I did was sautee it in some of the “au jus” from the crock pot for about 2-3 min. Done. The carrots I also sauteed in the au jus, just for about 5-10 min until starting to soften.

The mashed potatoes was a version of a previous recipe of mine: https://dancinandcookininthekitchen.com/2014/06/08/crispy-coconut-encrusted-chicken-with-mashed-potatoes/

The grits, I just followed the instructions on the package for quick cooking grits. Once they were done, I removed from the heat and stirred in about 2 TB of shredded cheddar cheese. That’s it!

Serve up, and ENJOY!!! My hubby said “I’d order this in a restaurant, develop a craving for it, and then have to keep going back just to order it!”. So, I’d say it was a major success!!!

And, for the quote of the day:

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Taco Salad with a Creamy Dressing

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What’s for lunch??? Can’t figure it out? Have a bunch of left over hodge podge foods in your fridge and freezer??? I did! So, I made¬†Taco Salad!!!

First, I made the dressing:

Dressing Ingredients:

3 TB FF Greek Yogurt PLAIN
3 TB restaurant style salsa
1 tsp chopped dill
1 TB chopped cilantro
1/8 tsp fresh minced garlic
salt and pepper to taste

Stir up all of the above ingredients for the dressing in a 2 cup glass liquid measuring cup, and set aside.

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Salad

1/2 cucumber cut up
grape tomatoes
1/2 an avocado
1 TB cheese
Leftover taco meat (that had corn and black beans in it)
Butter Lettuce

 

Cut up all of the salad ingredients. Place into bowl, and top with taco meat. Then, drizzle with dressing and sprinkle with cheese. For a little extra, add some crushed tortilla chips (like me, I used all those chip crumbs from the bottom of a chip bag that was still for some reason in our pantry still…).

 

Enjoy!!!

And, the quote of the day:

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Chicken and Veggie Curry with Fresh Herbs Over Coconut Cilantro Rice

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So, it’s been a long day… and I needed something to go with zucchini… yeah… so somehow I ended up making curry! ūüôā It was delicious though!

I am NOT a spicy fan. I prefer mild curry. I want the taste without the fiery burn making my eyes water. Due to that, if you prefer a slow BURN when you eat curry, making you need to drink milk while you eat it, spice it up. If you like MILD, then leave it as is!!!

Here goes:

Coconut Cilantro Lime Rice:

1 cup bismati rice
1 can light coconut milk (I use Trader Joes organic)
2 TB chopped cilantro
juice of 1/2 a lime
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Put the 1 cup of rice into a mesh strainer and rinse until the water runs clear. Then, put into a rice cooker (or pot). Then add the coconut milk and salt and pepper. If in rice cooker, just hit cook. It will pop up when done. If in pot, stir and bring to boil, then put on low and put lid on. Let simmer for 20 minutes…. don’t remove the lid!

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Chicken and Veggie Curry:

6 boneless, skinless chicken tenderloins, diced
1/2 onion diced fine
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 1/2 cup frozen corn
1/2 tsp fresh grated ginger
1 tsp minced garlic
2 tablespoons coconut oil (or similar)
1¬†tsp¬†thai red curry paste (orig. recipe called for 3 tablespoons… if you like it spicy… go ahead!)
2 tsp curry powder
1/2 can light organic coconut milk
1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
6 leaves fresh basil, chopped
1 carrot
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
fresh naan , for serving
  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon coconut oil. Once hot, add the diced chicken and onions and saute the chicken until browned all over and cooked through, about 5-10 minutes. Remove the chicken from the skillet and place on a plate.
  2. Add another tablespoon coconut oil to the skillet. Add the red peppers, garlic, carrot and corn, saute 3-4 minutes and then toss in the zucchini, ginger and garlic. Saute the veggies another 5 minutes or until they just begin to soften. Add the chicken back to the skillet and toss everything together.
  3. To the skillet add the curry powder and curry paste and give everything another good toss. Cook 1 minute and then add the coconut milk and soy sauce. Stir to combine, bring the mixture to a boil, cook 5 minutes or until the sauce thickens slightly. Remove from the heat and stir in the basil and cilantro.
  4. Serve the curry over the rice. Add a spoonful of the mangos and a sprinkle of feta cheese. Eat with Naan!

 

Enjoy!!!

And, for the “Quote of the Day”:
from the Hymn Abide With Me, words by Henry Lyte

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Spicy Shrimp Tostado with Refried Black Beans and Guacamole

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These tostados were on my list since I saw them. I changed a few things, so now, the recipe is mine!! ūüôā I needed something pretty quick, but realized I was out of refried beans…. so, I made some out of canned black beans!!!

Recipe for Refried Black Beans:

1 can Organic Black Beans
1/2 cup organic low sodium vegetable broth
1 TB canola oil
3 TB finely diced onion
1 tsp. cumin
1 TB butter
1/8 tsp minced garlic

Refried Black Beans Directions:
Put oil and onion and cumin into sauce pan and stir and simmer until onions start to become translucent. In the mean time, rinse the can of black beans until all of the liquid that it is canned in is gone. I usually do this in a colander. Then, take the black beans and the vegetable broth, and put into a blender, or like me, the nutribullet. Blend until smooth. Then, add into the sauce pan with the onion and oil blend. Stir, and add the butter and garlic. Let simmer until cooked down and thick and able to “pull” from the bottom of the pan.

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Shrimp:

8-10 shrimp
2-3 TB olive oil (or similar oil)
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp garlic salt
ground black pepper
Place shrimp into a bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Then sprinkle on the spices and toss. Place onto tin-foil lined cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes. (This is for medium sized shrimp, you want to cook until no longer translucent).

Tostada Ingredients:

Shrimp (as cooked above)
Heated up frozen corn(about 2 TB per tostada)
Guacamole (about 2 TB per tostada)
diced tomatoes (as much as you’d like!)
Refried Black Beans (as cooked about) about 2-3 TB, as you’d like

I bought the corn tostadas. Place on a plate. Refried beans first, then guacamole, then the corn, tomatoes, then shrimp. ENJOY!!!!!!

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Ritz Cracker Coated Chicken with Pasta and a Cream Sauce… NOT LIGHT!

Ok… so first off, this is NOT what I planned on cooking tonight. I was going to make a lightly “pan fried” chicken with a lemon dill sauce. Let’s just say I found out that I was out of corn starch, then I found out that I was out of panko bread crumbs. THEN I ruined my lemon sauce because I added a bit of cream… it was going well, and THEN I added a bit more lemon… CURDLED my sauce!!!! UGH! Then, the other sauce I tried to make I followed a recipe. Shouldn’t have. It was HORRIBLE! So then, I just made my own “alfredo” sauce with a bit of dill (I needed to use my DILL!!). (light version)

So… Here goes!! HAHA, the final recipe I actually used…

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Chicken Recipe:

6 chicken tenderloins
1 cup milk (I used coconut milk… you can use whichever)
2 TB light oil (canola or coconut)
1 cup flour
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
salt&pepper to taste
3 egg whites
1/2 cup water
1 roll of ritz crackers (or equivalent… I used TJ version)
2 TB parmesan cheese grated

Directions for the Chicken:

Soak the chicken in the milk for 30 min. at least in the fridge. Place the flour, onion powder, garlic powder and salt and pepper in 1 bowl. In bowl #2 place the egg whites and water. In bowl #3 place the ritz crackers crushed up to crumbs, and the parmesan cheese.

Take the chicken, dip into the flour mix (bowl #1), then into the egg and water mixture (bowl #2) and then into the crumb mixture (bowl #3).  Then place into the heated skillet of oil on medium to medium-high. (Just covering the bottom, not dropping into a vat of oil)

Since I had more chicken than could fit into the pan, the chicken that was already crisped up, I placed onto a pan in the oven @350 to keep crispy and hot in the oven. (not for more than 15 min or so)

While all of this is happening… INSTEAD of making mashed potatoes like I THOUGHT I was going to… haha, I made linguini. Yeah, where was I at the grocery store?!

Then, I made the sauce… oh man. I’m telling you, this was a struggle. UGH! Ok. So… here’s the recipe for the sauce:

1 1/2 – 2 TB butter
2 TB flour
3/4 cup half and half (or whatever milk you prefer)
2 TB parmesan (or similar) cheese
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp garlic (powder or minced)
1 tsp minced FRESH dill (optional)

1. Melt butter in small sauce pan on low
2. slowly add flour and whisk
3. when thickened add the half and half slowly while whisking quickly
4. add salt and pepper
5.add cheese just till melted, whisking the entire time until melted thoroughly
6. add fresh dill (and leave some for garnish)
7. remove from heat and pour over pasta and chicken

 

I served this with a salad with the leftover dressing from last nights summer fruit salad!!! YUM!

Summer Fruit Salad with a Honey, Lime, Cilantro Dressing!

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Salad Ingredients:

-1 Avocado sliced and cut into 1-2 inch pieces
-about 15-20 strawberries washed and sliced
-3/4 of a pint of blueberries washed and tossed into bowl
-handfull of spinach chopped roughly

 

Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup¬†cilantro
  • 3¬†tbsp.¬†canola oil (or other light oil)
  • 2 large TB. honey
  • juice of 1/2 of a lime
  • dash of dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp minced garlic
  • about 1/4 tsp Mrs. Dash or similar

Whir in a magic bullet, food processor or blender for about 10 seconds

Pour dressing over salad and toss. ENJOY!!!!!

 

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