Friday, April 18, 2014

Guest Pinner: Jenn - Turkey Enchilada w/Homemade Enchilada Sauce

Jenn is at it again! I've been dreaming of this dish since she sent me the pics - Ground Turkey Low-Carb Enchilada Casserole with Red and Green Chiles AND Homemade Enchilada Sauce!  

From Jenn:
We made our own enchilada sauce instead of using canned :) (The pin has 5 recipes. We did the red enchilada sauce - basic one.)
The enchilada sauce was really easy and we added a layer of sliced tomatoes. Mmm! 
This was reallllly good! A bit soupy but I don't think we let our sauce thicken enough before adding to the meat (next time we'll make the sauce the night before) and we didn't let it sit long enough before diving in.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Mexican Quinoa with Black Beans

We started a Wellness Program at work and one of the activities is a monthly 'healthy potluck'. This was our first month and I had a TON of ideas of what to bring, but finally decided to go with a 'food' item instead of a 'healthy sweet'... so I doubled up this recipe for Mexican Quinoa with Black Beans.
Forgot the oil and cilantro in the pic!
As is my way, I had to change things up a little. First change was I used coconut oil instead of olive oil. After sauteing the onions and adding the garlic, I put the quinoa in to let it roast a little (about 1-2 minutes) and start to brown. 

Then threw in all the ingredients... but swapped out the spices for this Homemade Taco Seasoning, left all the juices in the black beans and added a drained can of corn (don't forget I doubled the recipe, so 1/2 of can for the normal recipe).

For the doubled recipe, I only used one can of veggie broth (I was worried about the watery-ness/dryness since i knew it would be sitting in a crock pot to stay warm all day), but was perfect! So good, in fact, that Tom - the quinoa hater... LOVED IT! Definitely a success! We discussed adding meat (chunks of chicken, sausage, etc.), but its delicious on its own too!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Guest Pinner: Jenn - Spicy Sriracha Chicken and Quinoa Bowl

Jenn never fails to amaze with all the Pinterest recipes she powers through - and since her man loves Sriracha and she's very fond of quinoa, this was a no brainer!  Definitely want to make this one - but sub rice since Tom isn't a fan of quinoa.  

Jenn said, "Spicy Sriracha Chicken and Quinoa bowl! Sooo yum! We added yellow bell pepper... Next time going to add more veggies like broccoli and maybe carrots."

Friday, March 28, 2014

A somewhat failed attempt at Salted Caramel Cheesecake

Yikes. I've been MIA for a LONG time! My cameras death played a huge part, but life got busy (and who am I kidding - I got a little lazy).

Well, i'm back with a very frustrating (but delicious) recipe. A good lesson learned with this one - as with all cheesecakes, you must be patient, patient, PATIENT... and my attempt at this Salted Caramel Cheesecake proved that I should not make things that take that much patience!

As always, I gave Tom free reign to choose what he wanted for his birthday (with a slight push away from the Carrot Cake and Coconut Cake I've made for him already - since I am not a fan of either). He agreed to go a different route and this cheesecake grabbed both of our attentions.  

Ok, so things started off smoothly. The crust was blended and baked (although a little salty), the filling mixed, and all into the oven...

THEN - I got cocky. My oven always cooks slow, so I left it in an extra 15-20 minutes (over the 60 minutes it was in there). It was looking BEAUTIFUL, so I took it out and put it on a rack to cool (it probably could have used another 10 minutes or so). Time was running low (and I was getting tired after a pre-birthday feast), so only let it cool for 30 minutes... NOT ENOUGH TIME!!  

It got way too crazy in the kitchen at that point, so didn't snap a pic, but just imagine a very angry me freaking out, tossing the slop on my cake plate and then going to bed in a huff. Not my shining moment.  :/

The next morning, the night fridge did allow the cheesecake to finish firming up (although with chunks of it sliding off the plate).  We agreed to just go with it (because i wasn't gonna make another at that point)... that an ugly cake was better than no cake at all... and I still had the delicious caramel to add to it to help cover it up!

This cake was out to get me for sure.  I've made caramel a few times, with little to no issues, but this one just hated me!  Couldn't get the sugar to melt down and brown properly and so on the 2nd attempt, just went with the sorta brown version that got super clumpy and not velvety.  Not helpful in the attempt to hide the ugliness. 

In the end, even with the slightly salty crust, the oozing sides, the not-so-brown caramel and a mess of whipped cream sprayed around the edges to cover up the mess - it was still DELICIOUS!  Our small party powered through more than half of this thing!

Moral of the story and some very wise words of wisdom from Melissa that I need to remember: It's not about the look, it's about the taste!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles... I mean, really.

As I was prepping my pre-holiday bake-fest my dad gave me a packet of fresh (REAL!) pumpkin to use for whatever I was baking, so had to find a good pumpkin-y addition to my list. I was already making Christmas Crack and a variation of the Andes Mint cookies (made into brownie form), so I chose these Pumpkin Snickerdoodles to mix things up.
In the middle of baking mania!
Ok, here's the deal. Snickerdoodles are my favorite cookie. Pumpkin is one of my favorite flavors. These cookies are ridiculous good. I tweaked the recipe ever so slightly by adding a splash of vanilla to the dough and some pumpkin pie spice to the dough and the sugar/cinnamon mix at the end.  I mean, really... they are SO good.  The perfect balance of crunch on the outside and ooey gooey-ness on the inside... with the added bonus of the pumpkin-y, cinnamon-y, magical goodness.  
Make these cookies.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Guest Pinner: Jenn - Thai Quinoa Bowl

This was originally a Thai Tofu Quinoa bowl, but Jenn subbed chicken for the tofu - definitely makes this dish more Tom-friendly!  

She also subbed the Greek yogurt for coconut milk in the sauce (didn't want to buy a whole can for 3 tablespoons).  According to her "It was sooo tasty!"

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Mint Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Brownies

In response to the Gingerbread Pumpkin Bars Jenn made for my birthday a couple weeks ago, I had to return the favor for HER birthday.  Her only stipulations were to choose mint or peanut butter and chocolate.  I decided on these Mint Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Brownies.  OMG. 
I didn't end up using the regular chocolate chips
What's better than chocolate-y butter??
I added an extra drop of green coloring for more pop!
Using Andes Baking Chips is DEFINITELY the way to go!

The verdict?  As they are cooling - kinda weird.  The texture of the cheesecakey mint is spongey... BUT, once they have cooled completely - AMAZING!  I took a test batch to Tom's family reunion and they were immediately broken into and almost completely devoured before dinner!