Posted in KSW Weekly, meal planning, recipe, Recipes

Kitchen Sink Weekly #9

A day late, but I’ve got it! Our poor kitty had a vet appointment and then surgery this week so that kind of knocked out some time that I would have spent prepping for you guys.
Just a head’s up, this one is rice heavy. My Dad gave me a couple varieties of forbidden rice (red and black/purple) which he was too afraid to try ūüėõ So I started researching their uses (which are basically the same as any other rice so you can use whatever you have on hand or substitute other grains like quinoa or millet if you have those) and we tried them out!¬† Continue reading “Kitchen Sink Weekly #9”

Posted in recipe, Recipes

Leftover Roundup: Baked Bean Stuffed Tomatoes

If you’re like me and tend to make way more food than you actually need for any get together, this week may find you with an entire extra pan of baked beans. Fortunately for me, I also have a man who will likely eat them all. But why not change it up a bit? Or, at the very least, increase the nutrient density so that it steals a bit of glory from the salt, sugar, and fat… Not that those things aren’t necessary, but I think you know what I’m getting at.

Looking around for other things on their way out, I realized I still had a bunch of vine ripened tomatoes left that were just chillin’ in my fruit bowl and a huge tub of fresh spinach in the back of my refrigerator. At first, I was thinking stuffed peppers, but we just had stuffed peppers and eh, I don’t know. Tomatoes provided the perfect alternative – and they were little so I could serve them as a side with my meatloaf tonight! So here’s what I did…


Continue reading “Leftover Roundup: Baked Bean Stuffed Tomatoes”

Posted in recipe

Decadent Double Chocolate Brownies

My Mom is one of those people who’s really into chocolate. I mean really. She may love chocolate more than she loves my Dad. She’s picky about it though, prefers dark over milk, has a brand preference and can describe why, and does not like white chocolate (I always forget the last bit).

 

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Saved all the edges just for Mum ‚̧¬†

 

This recipe is among her favorites, and she usually asks for edges. They’re crisp, sweet, and toasty. I’ll be bringing her a cute little box of bite-sized edge pieces for Mother’s Day. The fudgy center pieces will be sent off to the Honey’s Mom and Sister. If your mom, sister, grandma, or whoever is a fan of sweets or chocolate, this is sure to be a home run. It takes a bit of patience to make sure you end up with chips and not melty bits, but there are no fancy techniques needed. I melted my butter and chocolate in a glass bowl over a pot of boiling water since I don’t have a double boiler.

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I’ll be decorating them tomorrow and update with a picture then, have a great weekend ūüôā

Decadent Double Chocolate Brownies

  • Time: 60-70 minutes
  • Difficulty: Medium

Soft, fudgy, melt-in-your-mouth perfection.

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Butter
  • 1 & 3/4 Cup Semisweet Chocolate Chips (I use Nestle)
  • 3 Whole Eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Cup Granulated Sugar – Heaping
  • 1/2 Cup All Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Baking Powder
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Cup Semisweet Chocolate Chips
  • 1 Tablespoon Flour

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, butter and sugar a 13 x 9 inch baking pan and set aside.
  2. Over a double boiler, melt the butter and 1 & 3/4 cups chocolate together. Set aside to cool slightly.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, vanilla, and sugar and mix well.
  4. Slowly, while whisking, pour the melted chocolate and butter mixture into the egg mixture. Continue to stir for 3 to 5 minutes until well combined. Stir often and continue to cool until lukewarm. Do not refrigerate. This takes patience, but it’s worth it.
  5. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk into wet ingredients until well combined.
  6. In the small bowl (now empty), combine the remaining 1 cup chocolate chips and 1 tablespoon of flour, toss to coat. Gently fold into brownie batter. It’s important that the batter be only lukewarm (if not cooler) by this step, otherwise the chocolate chips will melt.
  7. Pour into prepared baking pan and use a spatula or the back of a spoon to spread evenly. Bake for 40 minutes until done. When cool enough to touch, carefully move them from the pan to a wire rack and cool completely before cutting.

Dust with powdered sugar for a classic brownie look, or drizzle with melted white chocolate for a triple chocolate delight. If you plan to add frosting, though these really don’t need it, frost completely before cutting into bite sized pieces and swipe your knife in a paper towel between each cut.

Posted in Midweek Masterpiece, recipe

Midweek Masterpiece: Pepper and Herb Crusted Chicken over Zesty Baby Green Salad

It was one of those times where I thought I had everything I needed to make this dish happen but, unfortunately, a key ingredient had gone bad. As I was making the salad, which was to be sweet with slices of pear and a balsamic dressing, I went to slice into what seemed like a perfectly ripe pear only to find it was rotting from the middle out! I was due for a grocery trip, too, so I scoured my refrigerator for ingredients and I think what I came out with worked so much better than my original intent.

The zesty apple cider vinegar and dijon vinaigrette played well with the herbs and spices in the chicken while creamy, tangy, feta and bright capers tied it all together.

And it only took a half hour to make! Perfect for those mid-week¬†dinners when you want something tasty but low-effort. It also scales well if you have a big family, and it’s pretty enough to serve to guests.

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Ingredients:

  • 4¬†Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
  • 1 and 1/2 Tablespoons Cajun Seasoning or Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1 Tablespoon Black Pepper – Freshly Ground
  • 2 Tablespoons Herbes de Provence
  • 4 Tablespoons Safflower Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard (to taste)
  • 1 Tablespoon Onion – Minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Pepper
  • 4 – 5 oz Baby Greens
  • 1/4 to 1/2 Cup Crumbled Feta Cheese (again, to taste)
  • 2 Tablespoons Capers

Directions:

  1. Combine cajun seasoning, pepper, and herbes de Provence in a small bowl, then sprinkle over the surface of the chicken and use fingertips to coat the surface, top, and bottom. Set aside.
  2. Heat 2 Tablespoons oil in a large pan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Usually 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Use tongs to place the seasoned chicken in the hot pan, it may pop and sizzle a lot so be careful.
  4. Cook the chicken 8 to 10 minutes on each side until thoroughly browned. Then rest about 5 minutes. In the meantime prep the salad.
  5. In a large bowl, combine remaining 2 tablespoons oil, apple cider vinegar, dijon mustard, onion, salt, and pepper and whisk until thoroughly combined. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
  6. Toss with baby greens, feta, and capers (I threw in a tiny bit of brine, too) until well-coated.
  7. Slice the chicken diagonally across the grain and serve over the salad.
  8. Enjoy ‚̧
Posted in meal planning, recipe

Blueberry Lemon Bars & Cream Cheese Frosting

 

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For a “prettier” version, you could use frozen blueberries instead. But that’s a different recipe…

 

I made these to bring to my parents with Easter dinner, but I’ve yet to find them unwelcome at any occasion. This very American style cake comes together so easily you’ll be making it more often than you think. I certainly do. They’re nice and light – and just so yum¬†– that I’ve started to make some version regularly enough to¬†just keep the ingredients around!¬† Continue reading “Blueberry Lemon Bars & Cream Cheese Frosting”

Posted in meal planning, recipe

Baked Sweet Potato Fries

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With panko breaded salmon and steamed green beans

You’ll Need:

  • 2 or 3 good-sized¬†sweet potatoes (you’ll want a single layer when they’re all cut)
  • 3-4 Tablespoons Olive Oil

From the Spice Cabinet:

  • 1 teaspoon Herbes de Provence
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt (or to taste) – I use Himalayan¬†pink salt in a grinder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Pepper – Freshly ground
  • 1 teaspoon Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning (optional)

How it’s Done:

  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees (Fahrenheit). Cut a sheet of foil a little larger than your baking sheet and gently crumple it, then use it to coat the baking sheet. Pre-wrinkling your foil will help keep the fries from sticking. I usually spray the coated pan with oil as well.
  2. Wash the sweet potatoes, remove any wayward roots or eyes, and peel if desired. Then slice into 1/2 inch wide strips, you don’t want to go too much thicker than that, but you can go thinner if you like them crispier or need them to cook even faster.
  3. In a gallon sized freezer bag or a large bowl, add the sliced potatoes and the rest of the ingredients, seal and toss until the potatoes are well coated, if they aren’t a bit shiny add a little more oil and re-toss.
  4. Spread the seasoned fries in a single layer on your prepared baking sheet. Place on an upper rack and bake for 20 minutes until fork tender.
    If they aren’t as crisp as you’d like them to be at this point, just switch on the broiler for 3 to 5 minutes but keep a close eye on them so they don’t burn!
  5. Serve immediately – as if you could help it. Or cool and store in a refrigerated airtight container for up to 4 days.

 

Sunday prep? Eh. Not really. 
These are so quick and easy they aren’t really worth prepping ahead. But you can make them ahead though and enjoy them for the week!

Reheat by putting them in the toaster oven on toast or broil for 5-10 minutes, or re-bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes until heated through.

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