Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Sloppy Joe Skillet Supper

I love meals that are basically all-in-one dishes like casseroles (which are baked) or skillet meals like this variation on sloppy joes. They make for a pretty quick weeknight meal, and are perfect for kids. Sloppy Joe Skillet Supper in particular is easy to adapt to a low-carb or gluten-free meal if you prefer.

1) Swap out the regular pasta for your favorite alternative pasta.

2) Use "Zoodles" (spiralized zucchini) or spiralized sweet potatoes

3) Instead of shredding the carrots and zucchini, dice two of each vegetable and saute them for the appropriate length of time before setting them aside to brown the turkey. Add them back in after the sauce is combined.

Sloppy Joe Skillet Supper

1 pound lean ground turkey
1 tablespoon cooking oil (olive, coconut, canola, whatever)
1/2 sweet onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 small zucchini, shredded
1 small carrot, shredded
1 small green pepper, diced
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 (12 ounce) bottle chili sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup beef or chicken stock

10 ounces dry macaroni pasta, cooked al dente - according to package directions.

In a large skillet over medium heat, saute the onion, garlic, zucchini, carrot and green pepper for 4-5 minutes until the vegetables soften and the onions start becoming translucent. Add in the turkey, breaking it up and stirring it all together until the meat is no longer pink. Stir in the vinegar, chili powder, nutmeg and pepper. Add in the chili sauce, ketchup and broth. Stir in the cooked pasta. Allow to simmer for about five more minutes. I sometimes serve this topped with shredded sharp cheddar cheese.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Perfectly Hard-Boiled Eggs

Hard-boiled eggs are one of those things that seem simple, yet they are easy to get completely wrong! Years ago I read about how to cook them perfectly and ever since I never have any trouble with them. Then I use our family's time-proven method to peel them so I can turn them into one of my favorite treats - deviled eggs!

To hard-boil eggs:

Place the eggs in a pot and cover with cold water.
Bring to a boil over high heat.
Cover and turn off heat; let sit for 10-12 minutes.
In a bowl, combine a few handfuls of ice with just enough water to cover.
Drain eggs and plop them into the ice water.
Let sit for 10 minutes, until thoroughly cool.

Now they are ready to peel! All you need are your hands and a spoon.

Side Note: Why, oh, why, Manufacturer of This Plate, did you make it for 15 deviled eggs? Why not an even number? Did you know I will inevitably break one of the whites? Or did you decide to give me an excuse to eat one so they would fit the exact number? It's spooky how well you understood me before we ever met. But seriously, FIFTEEN?

Moving On.
Crack the large end. Water usually collects there and you want to use that to your advantage.
Turn the egg upright, so that any water inside drains down between the shell and the egg white. Use your fingers to make an opening.
Gently work a small spoon under the shell, curving around the white.
Angle the spoon up, pushing the shell away.
Most of the shell should simply shear away, usually in no more than 3-4 pieces.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Strawberry Shortcake Muffins

Recently, I decided to adapt one of my favorite muffin recipes, Lemon Blueberry Muffins, to make it work with strawberry. I loved the results! The only problem is that the recipe only makes one dozen. This batch didn't last out the day!

Strawberry Shortcake Muffins

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons orange zest
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1/2 cup whole milk

4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup strawberry jam

Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a 12 cup muffin tin with non-stick spray, or use cupcake liners. In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, blend the sugar and orange zest until well combined. Add in butter and blend until light and fluffy.  
Add eggs, one at a time,blending well. Add in vanilla, orange juice, and milk. Mix until combined. Add flour mixture and mix on low until just combined.

In a small bowl, stir together the cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla.

Divide about half of the batter into the muffin cups. Top with a teaspoon each of the cream cheese mixture and the strawberry jam. Divide the remaining batter between the muffin cups, covering the filling. 

Bake at 350° for 23-25 minutes. Cool on a wire rack, but these are especially tasty served warm!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

April Menu!

Thank you so much to everyone for their March Menu orders! Among those who benefitted from meals were:

  • A mama to two preschoolers.
  • A grandmother undergoing chemotherapy.
  • A busy grandmother who teaches middle school.
  • A mom, with three young boys at home, who underwent knee surgery. 
  • A family who recently moved.

In April, let me help you or even help you help a friend! These are tasty, home-cooked, made from scratch meals delivered to you. Save it for tomorrow in the fridge, for a later time in the freezer, or pop it in the oven for a fast dinner that night!

I'll be "barefoot in the kitchen" so you don't have to be!

April Menu 

Menu 1 - April 14 Orders due by noon on April 12.

Shepherd's Pie - Flaky, from-scratch pie crust filled with beef, peas and carrots in gravy, topped with fluffy mashed potatoes.

Lemon Chicken - Tender chicken and snappy green beans folded into a creamy lemon-Parmesan sauce, with angel hair pasta. (gluten-free option available)

Desserts: Lemon Bars (1 dozen) and Chocolate Cake with Caramel Buttercream Frosting

Menu 2 - April 28 Orders due by noon on April 26.

Beef and Bean Chili - Full of tomatoes, peppers, onion, beef and beans and the perfect level of spice. (gluten-free. vegetarian option available)

Chicken Parmesan - Shaped pasta tossed with chicken, homemade marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese. Topped with a Parmesan-bread crumb mixture.

Desserts: Pound Cake with Homemade Lemon Curd and Chocolate Chip Cream Cheese Bars (1 dozen)

Meals are $25 each, desserts are $15 each.

*** To place your order, send me an email here or use the link in the right sidebar. Your order will be confirmed when payment is received via PayPal. If you prefer to pay with a check or cash, let me know in your email and I will give you the mailing address. ***

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Meal Delivery and March Menu!

**Updated Pricing!**

Hey, friends! I am offering something new to my local readers:

Fully cooked, from scratch, meal-in-one casseroles for delivery! 

Twice each month, on the first and third Friday, I will offer a menu of two different choices for meals and for desserts. The options will be a la carte, so you can order just one meal or any combination you like. I'll be "barefoot in the kitchen" so you don't have to be!

Meals will serve 4-6 people for just $25. As delivered they'll contain fully cooked ingredients in a covered foil container, ready for the oven or the freezer.

The desserts are $15 and will be ready to serve.

These meals are perfect for you if you  ...

... want delicious family-pleasing meals without spending so much time in the kitchen.

... want to have a back-up meal in the freezer for a busy night.

... know a family who could use the gift of a meal - due to health issues, a new baby, they've recently moved into a new home, or just because you want to bless them!

With each menu, my goal is to include two homestyle, family-favorite recipes, one of which will be easily adapted to accomodate dietary needs (i.e. vegetarian or gluten-free). The desserts will be generally decadent and I can make no promises for their health benefits! Except for a mental health boost, of course!

*** To place your order, send me an email here or use the link in the right sidebar. Your order will be confirmed when payment is received via PayPal. If you prefer to pay with a check or cash, let me know in your email and I will give you the mailing address. ***

March Menu

Week 1 - March 3 Orders due by noon on March 1

Beef and Black Bean Enchiladas : Corn tortillas filled with a spicy beef/black bean mixture and pepper jack cheese. Topped with homemade enchilada sauce (peppers, tomato, garlic and spices) and served over brown rice. (Gluten-free, vegetarian option with black bean/sweet potato) Bake or Freeze.

Chicken Ranch Casserole : Shredded chicken, pasta and carrots folded into a from-scratch creamy, cheesy sauce, seasoned with Ranch-style herbs. Buttery bread crumb topping. Bake or Freeze.

Desserts : Snickerdoodles - Soft cinnamon-sugar cookies. (2 dozen)
                  Caramel Banana Pudding - Homemade vanilla pudding layered with fresh bananas,                                                               vanilla wafers and caramel sauce. Topped with whipped cream.

Week 2 - March 17 Orders due by noon on March 15

Unstuffed Pepper Casserole : Homemade marinara (pureed tomato, zucchini, carrots, garlic, onion), diced green peppers, brown rice, ground beef and cheddar. Garlic-herb bread crumb topping. (gluten-free and vegetarian options available) Bake or Freeze.

Chicken Pot Pie : From-scratch flaky, buttery pie crust surrounds a creamy filling of chicken, potatoes, peas and carrots. Bake.

Desserts : Pistachio Chocolate Chip Cookies (2 dozen)
                 Fudgy Mint Brownies (1 dozen)

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Egg Muffins

I love a savory breakfast! But I am also somewhat lazy first thing in the morning. I'll generally not eat anything unless it comes together very quickly. I tend to cook lunch and dinner, though, for 5-6 people, so I suppose it's only natural that I don't want to add in a third meal to cook! Anyway, I often make up breakfast meals that I can heat up easily throughout the week. I love quiches, like this Cheese Quiche or this Potato-Spinach Quiche. I love having Breakfast Burritos waiting in the freezer, too. These Egg Muffins, though, are nice to have in the refrigerator, ready to serve one at a time to the little ones, or two (or three ...) for the bigger people in the family.

(For the meat in these, my favorite thing to use is lean ground turkey mixed with a couple of teaspoons of Frying Pan Pork Sausage Spice.)

Egg Muffins

9 eggs
2 tablespoons sour cream
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 pound breakfast meat, cooked and crumbled or chopped (bacon, ham, sausage)
3 cups raw spinach, chopped
1/2 cup finely diced peppers
2 green onions, sliced
1 cup shredded cheese

In a mixing bowl, whisk the eggs and sour cream with the salt and pepper. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Divide the mixture between 12 greased muffin cups. Bake at 375° for about 15-18 minutes. Yield: 12 muffins

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Apple-Carrot Cake with Cinnamon Maple Cream Frosting

For Jeff's birthday cake this year, I adapted an apple-spice cake recipe. It's full of autumn flavor and would be the perfect cake for Thanksgiving!

 Apple-Carrot Cake with Cinnamon Maple Cream Frosting

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon maple extract1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour 

1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
2 medium apples, finely chopped
1 medium-sized carrot, peeled and shredded

Preheat the oven to 350°. Prepare 2 9-inch round cake pans by lining the bottom with wax paper and spraying with non-stick spray. 

In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter, coconut oil and sugars until fluffy - this will take a few minutes. Blend the eggs and extracts into the mixture. In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Alternately add in the flour mixture and the buttermilk, just until combined. Fold in the apple and carrot. Divide the batter between the pans and bake for 25-28 minutes, until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in the pans for a few minutes, then remove cakes to a wire rack to cool completely. 

For the frosting:

8 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon maple extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
(milk or cream, as needed)

In a mixing bowl, blend together the butter and cream cheese until fluffy. Add in the extracts and cinnamon. Slowly add in the powdered sugar until the frosting is the right consistency. Add milk or cream if it's too stiff.

Garnish the frosted cake with chopped pecans or walnuts, if desired.