Classic Tomato Bruschetta

I’m happy the weather is finally starting to feel like spring. As the weather gets warmer I do like to try and eat a little lighter.  Light snacks, or light meals.  Lots of salads and fresh fruits and vegetables.

This classic bruschetta is a perfect example of a light and bright snack or lunch.  You can mix it up with other ingredients but this one is just a classic tomato bruschetta!

Classic Tomato Bruschetta

Ingredients:
4 medium tomatoes, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
6 fresh basil leaves, chiffonade (finely shopped)
3 T shaved parmesan
3-4 T extra virgin olive oil
2 t salt
1 t salt

Crostini:
1 baguette (about 10 oz) sliced 1/4 inch thick
3 T olive oil
2 t salt
2 t pepper

Directions: In a medium bowl add in diced tomatoes, garlic, basil and olive oil and mix well. Season with salt and pepper (more or less to taste)  Put in the refrigerator and let chill for about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350°. Arrange slices of bread on a large baking sheet. Brush both sides with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake until golden brown about 15-20 minutes. Once done, let cool.

Remove the tomato mixture and mix in the shaved parmesan cheese.  Next add a spoonful of the tomato mixture to the top of the crostini.  Serve immediately.

Note: You can add the cheese on top of the tomato mixture.  I chose to mix in so then it doesn’t fall off.  You can also add a splash of balsamic vinegar for an extra kick in flavor.

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Chili Cheese Wonton Nachos

These wonton nachos are a perfect change up to the traditional nachos.  I absolutely love making chips with the wonton wrappers!  I sometimes buy them to just make up a batch of chips and eat with salsa or dip.

They cook super fast and can go from under cooked to burnt very quickly so you must keep an eye on them.

You can switch up the nacho toppings to whatever your heart desires.  I made these nachos when I had very little food in the house.  I actually used a can of chili and then topped with cheese, onion and sour cream.  The canned chili has a nice smokey flavor that adds to these nachos.  If you have ground beef at home, feel free to make your own taco meat, or add in some diced chicken!  Either will be delicious in this recipe.

Chili Cheese Wonton Nachos

Ingredients:
20 wonton wrappers, cut in half
2 T olive oil
2 t salt
1 small can no beans chili
3/4 cup shredded cheese
1/2 small onion, diced

Additional Optional Toppings:
Salsa
Avocado
Guacamole
Black Beans
Olives
Lettuce

Directions: Preheat oven 400.  Add the wonton wrapper to a baking sheet. Brush with olive oil on each side and sprinkle with salt.  Bake in the oven 7-8 minutes, flipping halfway through.  (Keep an eye on them as they can burn quickly, cooking times will vary) If they aren’t that crispy but are starting to get golden, remove from the oven and let sit.  They will crisp up as they cool.  Let cool completely before assembling the nachos.

Add the chili to a small sauce pan and heat completely through. (Or in the microwave)  To assemble the nachos, lay the wonton chips down on platter and top with the chili, cheese and diced onion and top with remaining toppings you want.  Serve immediately!

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Crockpot Chili Cheese Dip

This crock-pot chili dip is super simple and easy to make.  You can double it up for a pot luck or party or you can just make one recipe for a weekend snack!  I made this in my mini crock-pot. If you are going to double it up you may want to use a bigger crock-pot!

Crock-Pot Chili Cheese Dip

Ingredients:
16 oz Velveeta cheese, diced
1 can no bean chili
1/2-3/4 cup milk
3 T taco seasoning (more to taste)
1 small onion, diced
1 cup Monterey jack cheese (optional)

Directions: Add diced Velveeta cheese to crock-pot. Next add in chili, taco seasoning, onion and mix.  Gradually add in the milk. Start with less, you can always add more later.  Let cook on low 2-3  hours. Stir occasionally. If you notice it’s still too thick, add a little more milk.  Add in extra cheese if you want and mix up and let cook another 30 minutes.  Once done, serve with tortilla chips and enjoy.

Notes: If you prefer more chili, add in a second can. I like less so you can always add more.  Always start with less milk.  If you add to much milk at first it may be too thin and you want it to be a little thick and not real runny.

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Cheesy Potato Casserole

This potato dish is a perfect side dish to any meal! I love the simplicity of this dish but the taste you’d never know how simple it really was.  I will tell you right now, this dish isn’t considered low fat or healthy by ANY means.  This is a rich, cheesy and full of fat and calories dish.  Hey, we need to treat ourselves, right? I don’t make this that often, but when I do, I enjoy it so much.

We ended up adding the potatoes to our Christmas Eve menu once the kids came along.  It’s a kid friendly dish for sure.  There are several different recipes out there like this one.  I use a lot less butter. Some call for a full stick of butter inside the potatoes and then on the top, that’s totally not necessary in my opinion.  1 stick of butter is more then enough, sometimes I don’t even use that.

I usually make these with shredded potatoes, I feel like they are super tender.   This time I used the small diced hashbrowns and cooked slightly longer and they came out just as good.

Everyone will love this dish, it’s sure to be a family favorite  Take it to your next potluck, you’ll be the talk of the office.

Xoxo,

Julie

Cheesy Potato Casserole

Ingredients:

32 frozen hashbrowns, thawed (Diced or shredded)
1 10.5 oz can cream of chicken or cream of mushroom soup
1 cup sour cream
8-10 oz cheddar cheese (I like a little more)
1 stick of butter, melted
1 cup corn flake crumbs*
1 small onion, diced
1/2 T garlic powder
1/2 T onion powder
2 t salt (more to taste)
2 t pepper (more to taste)
2 t Garlic & Herb Seasoning (see Link below)

Directions: Preheat oven to 350.  In a large bowl add the hashbrowns, cream of chicken soup, sour cream, cheddar cheese, diced onion, and all the seasoning and half the melted butter.  Mix very well.  Making sure you get all the potatoes coated.  Add the potato mixture to an oven safe bowl.  Evenly top with the corn flake crumbs.  ( I add more, because I love the topping.)  Drizzle the last half stick of melted butter over the topping.  Bake in the oven for 1 hour or until the top is slightly golden in color.  Let sit a few minutes, and serve hot.

Note: If you use the diced hasbrowns you may need to cook slightly longer.  I notice that sometimes the hashbrowns are bigger making it take longer to cook. I prefer the shredded ones for this recipe, however when I took the pictures most recently I was only able to get the diced.  Also, you can use more butter if you like. I like to use less since there is no real purpose for all the extra fat.  It taste just as good. Some extra ingredients that would be fun and give it a nice kick would be cooked bacon goat cheese, ricotta or maybe diced jalapeños.  If you can’t find corn flake crumbs, just buy a box of the cereal and crush them up or put in a food processor.  You want them to be pretty fine, like consistency of breadcrumbs.

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The Best Enchiladas Ever

I made this recipes years back. Back before the blog and before when I use to write my recipes down on a recipe card and put into a recipe book. These enchiladas were made right off the top of my head and have since became my absolute favorite. I don’t make a lot because I try to eat healthy for the most part, but these are so good they are worth the extra calories!

When I first made these I make them for my Mom and I. I think the whole time I was making them she was giving me these looks in the kitchen. I wasn’t using the ingredients she’s use to when she makes enchiladas. I was using corn tortillas, which she’s not overly thrilled with and I was using muenster cheese. Yes, I know, it sounds weird. But it’s so delicious.

The tortillas are stuffed with shallots, muenster cheese and cilantro. Then I made a delicious white sauce for the top. So so so so so good!! Just make them once, and you’ll get exactly what I’m talking about.

The Best Enchiladas Ever

Ingredients:

3 large shallots, diced (or 1 medium onion)
12-16 corn tortillas
2 bunches fresh cilantro, chopped
1 lb sliced muenster cheese

Sauce:
1 large shallot, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cups chicken broth, (no salt added)
1 cup beef broth, (no salt added)
2 T flour
2 T butter
1/2 T olive oil
1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
8 oz sour cream
1-2 T chili powder
2 t salt
2 t pepper
4-5 slices muenster cheese, diced

Topping:

4 slices muenster cheese, diced

Directions: Preheat oven 350°. Put one slice of cheese in the tortilla with sprinkle of cilantro and shallots. Save 3 T to save for sauce & save 4 slices of cheese for sauce as well (Use however much prefer, I like cilantro so I usually go heavy on that) Put in a greased 13×9 Pyrex or a disposable aluminum pan. Continue this until all the tortillas are done.

For the sauce, heat a large sauté pan on medium high heat. Add in the olive and let heat 2-3 minutes. Add in the garlic and shallots and cook for 4 minutes. Add in the butter and let melt, slowly add in the flour and cook (making a roux) Next add in the broths, cilantro and spices. Let cook about 7-8 minutes, whisking often. Finish the sauce by adding in the sour cream and the cheese. Mix well until the cheese melts and the sour creams dissolves. Taste the sauce and make sure it doesn’t need anymore seasoning. Adjust to your personal taste.

Pour the sauce over the tortillas evenly, top with diced muenster cheese and cilantro. Bake for 35-45 minutes until bubbling. Let sit 10 minutes so it sets before eating.

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Reverse Sear Tri-Tip

I am a huge steak eater. I love a nice juicy steak or a beef roast. I made a reverse sear tri-tip and it came out so good it’s my go to way to make the tri-tip.

I do a reverse sear method when cooking a tri-tip. A reverse sear is basically where you cook your meat/roast on a low temperature for longer, then finish it with high heat either on the grill or a cast iron skillet. Finishing with the high heat gives the meat the nice char/sear you are looking for. You can do a reverse sear with a smoker, grill, oven or a skillet.

My way of doing this one was oven to grill. I’m by no means a grill master, which is why I do the first part in the oven. Give it a try. Reverse sear is great way to cook a steak or any beef really, comes out super tender and juicy.

Reverse Sear Tri-Tip

Ingredients:
4-5lb tri-tip, fat trimmed
1/2 T garlic seasoning
1/2 T onion seasoning
1 T steak rub
2 t salt
2 t pepper

Directions: Let the tri-tip come to room temperature. Preheat oven 225°. Mix all seasoning together and season beef with the mixture. Add a baking rack over a cookie sheet lined with foil. (Makes for easy clean up) Place in the oven and bake until the internal temperature is 125°-130°, about 60-70 minutes. Once an instant read thermometer hits that temp, remove from the oven and let sit 15 minutes.

Heat a grill to 450°-500°. Sear 5 minutes on each side. Remove from the grill and let sit 10 minutes before slicing. Then slice against the grain. Cook till it reaches your preferred temperature. (See below for chart)

Tri-Tip Cooking Temps:

Rare: 125°-130°
Medium Rare- 135°-140°
Medium- 140°-150°
Medium Well 150°-150°

Note: You can also heat a cast iron skillet or a heavy frying pan to high high heat to sear the meat. Use any seasoning you like, seasoning liberally. Also, Look at my “Items I Use” on the homepage for the instant read thermometer.