Kid Fun, Life, Sweets

Oreo Rice Krispie Treats

Happy Monday everyone!  I spent a few days last week taking care of my niece and nephew.  We had a great time.  We drew, we played games, we hung out and we cooked.

We made Oreo Rice Krispie treats, I made some enchiladas and tacos. We had a Mexican dinner on Friday night and we made bacon squares with bagels for breakfast.  It’s really fun to cook with the kids in the kitchen.

Below are some photos from that time and and the recipe for the Oreo Rice Krispies.  Enchilada recipe coming soon.  I will be back to regular posts soon.

Oreo Rice Krispie Treats

Ingredients:
3T- butter
5 -cups mini marshmallows
6 -cups rice cereal
8 -Oreo cookies

Directions: Add cookies to a large zip lock bag and smash with a spoon till crumbled. Melt butter either in a large microwavable bowl in microwave or in a large sauce pan.  Once butter is melted stir in the marshmallows until melted. If your doing in the microwave heat another 1-2 minutes, stirring half way through. Marshmallows should be completely melted! Add in cereal and Oreos. Press into a greased 13×9 pan. Let cool then cut into desired sizes.

Note: Add more or less Oreo cookies to your liking. Use an aluminum disposable pan for easy clean up.

20171110_153317804254843.png

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements
Bacon, Pork

Bacon Wrapped Dijon Pork Tenderloin

You have to make this awesome bacon wrapped Dijon pork tenderloin.  I like to experiment a lot with pork tenderloin.  They are so easy to make and you can do so many different things.  You can stuff it, wrap it, grill it, roast it and the list goes on and on.

I decided to wrap it with bacon for this recipe.  Bacon is one of the best foods around if you ask me.  I know it’s not healthy but it is delicious.  Everything in moderation right?  Give this dish a try.  It’s delicious.  I can’t wait to make again.  Also, if you’d rather omit the bacon, feel free just add the glaze on the pork and bake in the oven, no need to brown in the sauté pan. It still comes out with an amazing flavor.

Bacon Wrapped Dijon Pork Tenderloin

Ingredients:
1 pork tenderloin, 1-3lbs
8-10 bacon slices (good quality)

Glaze:
2 ½ T light brown sugar
2 T Dijon mustard
½ T soy sauce, low sodium
½ T olive oil
2 t onion powder
2 t garlic powder
2 t paprika
2 t chili powder
Sprinkle: salt and pepper

Directions: Preheat oven to 350°.  In a bowl whisk together all ingredients for the glaze.  Set aside.  Open tenderloin and pat dry with paper towel.  Lay out bacon on large surface close together.  Add the tenderloin on top of bacon over to one side.  Brush the glaze all over the pork.  Tightly roll the tenderloin making sure the bacon is staying in place.  Feel free to use toothpicks to keep the bacon on the pork.

Heat a large sauté pan on high heat.  Once the pan is hot, brown the pork tenderloin on all sides 4-5 minutes.  This will help cook the bacon slightly prior to putting in the oven.  Add the meat to a baking dish and cook in the oven 35-45 minutes depending on the size of the pork tenderloin.  Cook till internal temperature is 160°-165°.  Remove from the oven and tent with foil and let rest 7-10 minutes.

Carefully cut the pork and serve with your favorite sides.  Then enjoy!!

 

 

Chicken, Comfort Dish

White Chicken Chili

The weather has turned colder the last few weeks and I’m loving it.  I love the fall weather.  This is a perfect time of year for chili.  I’m not a huge fan of chili.  I just never liked all the beans and it never really appealed to me.  Several years back my sister in law made chili and I actually really enjoyed it.  She used smaller beans and since then I’ve only used those beans.

Over the years I’ve grown to really enjoy it and I’ve started to change up the recipe and just try different flavors.  That’s where this Chicken Chili came from.  I love chicken and I really enjoy this chili.

This is perfect for a lazy Sunday of football or relaxing.  Give it a try!

White Chicken Chili

Ingridents:
4 T butter
3 T flour
1 T oil
4 cups chicken broth, no salt
2 15.5 oz cans white beans, drained and rinsed (any kind)
4 ½ cups cooked chicken, chopped (rotisserie or any kind, I used boneless skinless chicken thighs)
1 cup frozen white corn
1 cup half and half
1 cup shredded cheese (I used Colby Jack)
2 jalapeños, seeds removed and diced
1 large onion, diced
1 T garlic powder
1 T onion powder
2 t paprika
2 t chili powder
2 t salt
2 t pepper

Directions:  Heat a medium pot on high heat. Add in olive oil.  Add in the jalapeños and onion and let cook down, about 3-4 minutes stirring occasionally.  Add in butter and flour and mix to create a roux.  Let cook 4 minutes.  Add in chicken broth and mix well.  Cook another 2-3 minutes.  Add in frozen corn, white beans and chicken and mix well.  Season with the spices.  Let simmer on medium low heat 20 minutes stirring once.  Once the time is up, slowly mix in shredded cheese and half and half.  Let simmer on low another 10 minutes, stirring once.  Seasoning with the salt and pepper to taste and serve.  Serve with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of cheese. Enjoy!

Notes:  This is a very quick chili.  You can use any chicken you’d like.  I simply made chicken thighs in the crockpot and then added to the chili.  Feel free to change up the vegetables inside. Add some other bell peppers or even some celery.  This freezes well.  You can freeze with the cream and cheese in the chili or you can remove some of the chili to freeze prior to adding the cheese and cream.  Would even be good with a splash of hot sauce. I just needed it to not be spicy.

20171105_104313233726095.pngimg_20171030_184533_491618394404.jpg

Crockpot, Pork, Pressure Cooker/Instapot, Sandwich

Pulled Pork with Coleslaw

I bought a pork butt and was originally going to make pork carnitas.  I had all the ingredients and at the last minute decided to switch it up to pulled pork.  It was my first time making the pulled pork in my pressure cooker and with a pork butt.  I’ve done a few times with a pork loin and in the crockpot but never this way.

You can definitely put this in a crockpot for low 8-10 hours or you can make low and slow in the oven.  If you do in the oven it will probably take 8-10 hours as well on like 300°-325°.  I used the pressure cooker because it took 90 minutes.  It came out tender and falling apart and very easy to shred.

I got a pressure cooker a few years ago for Christmas and I love it.  I love being able to cook foods so much faster and they come out much juicer than being in the crockpot.  I just recently bought an instapot.  I haven’t taken out of the box just yet because the next few weeks are super busy I want to be able to use it properly.  I can’t wait though.  Stay tuned for more information on that.

Now, back to the pulled pork.  It came out delicious I can safety say I’m excited to eat these leftovers!  When I think of pulled pork a lot of times I think of an excess amount of BBQ sauce.  I honestly have very little BBQ sauce in this recipe.  I think a lot of time the BBQ sauce drowns out the real flavor of the meat.  So, this is what I did.  It’s probably not traditional but it’s my take on pulled pork with just a simple coleslaw.

Pulled Pork with Coleslaw

Ingredients:
4-5lb pork shoulder/pork butt
8-10 large buns
BBQ sauce for topping (optional)

Sauce:
¼ cup soy sauce
¼ cup apple sider vinegar
¼ cup Worcestershire
2 T honey or brown sugar
3 T oil
3 T ketchup
3 T bbq sauce
½ T onion powder
½ T garlic powder
½ T cumin
½ T paprika
½ T chili powder
2 T salt
2 T pepper
3 C water

Rub:
1 ½ T onion powder
1 ½ T garlic powder
1 ½ T chili powder
1 ½ T cumin
1 ½ T paprika
2 t salt
2 t pepper

Simple Coleslaw

Ingredients:
14 oz bag of coleslaw mix
¾ cup light mayo
¾ cup light sour cream
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
1 small onion, diced
2 t onion powder
2 t garlic powder
Salt & Pepper to taste

Directions:  In a bowl mix together all ingredients for the sauce minus the water.  Mix well to a smooth consistence and set aside. Cut the pork in 2 pieces.  In a bowl mix together all ingredients for the rub.  Rub mixture on all sides of the meat pieces; make sure to cover the meat well.  Heat pressure cooker on high heat (Or a sauté pan if your oven roasting or using the crockpot.) Add in 1 T of oil and brown 1 chunk of meat at time, brown on all sides.  Remove from the pan.  Use 1 T of oil and do the same thing with the second chunk of meat.

Add both pieces of meat back to the pressure cooker and add in 3 cups of water and pour the sauce mixture over the meat.  Cover the pressure cooker and bring up to pressure and cook on medium high heat for 90 minutes.  Let pressure release naturally.  If you are roasting in the oven, add the meat to a roasting pan and only add 1 cup of water and then pour the sauce over the meat and cook for 8-10 hours on 300°.  Note, you can cook it less but it won’t be falling apart and super easy to shred.  For the crockpot, add meat to crockpot and add in 2 cups of water and pour sauce over the meat and cook on low 8-10.  Cook until the meat falls apart.

While meat is cooking make the coleslaw.  To a medium bowl add the coleslaw mix and the onion.  In a smaller bowl mix together the sour cream, mayo, apple cider vinegar and the garlic and onion powder.  Add that mixture to coleslaw and mix well till fully coated.  Season the coleslaw with salt and pepper to taste and add to the refrigerator until ready to use.  Mix well before serving.

Once meat is cooked, (In whichever method you choose) Add to a large bowl and shred the meat completely.  Spoon some of the juices from the pan into the bowl and mix well.  To serve, add meat to bun and drizzle with some reserved juices and top with a dollop of bbq sauce (Optional: I didn’t do this as the meat flavor was enough for me and didn’t want to change it.)  Either eat with coleslaw on the bun or on the side.  The choice is yours! 🙂

Note:  Double the coleslaw recipe if you’re going to make for a crowd or eat all within a few days.  I only made one recipe as I was only eating half now and freezing the rest.  Optional:  Add the leftover juices to a container or a bowl and let side until the fat starts to separate from the juices.  Once that happens, remove the fat that’s collected on the top and add the liquid to the meat mixture and mix well.  This will keep the meat nice and juicy especially for leftovers or if you’re freezing any of the meat.

wp-image-1913339149
Finished Product!
wp-image-1086910024
Cooked!
wp-image-595089484
Shredded!
wp-image-94954048
Simple Coleslaw!
Sides, Veggies

Zucchini Fries

I LOVE zucchini.  It’s one of my favorite vegetables.  My Mom’s always made sautéed zucchini with onions and butter and I’ve always loved it.  Over the years I’ve tried to think outside the box and do something different since I love this ingredient so much.

I’ve used zucchini in everything from pasta to eggs.  I first made these zucchini fries a few years ago when I was being healthy and had a craving for something salty and crunchy.  Since I was dieting I couldn’t just have the French fries I wanted so I decided to try zucchini fries.  They came out delicious.  I baked them the first time I made them.

The zucchini fries I made today I actually fried.  I fried in a little oil and let drain on a paper towel.  They came out amazing.  I used mini zucchinis I found at the store but I usually use regular size ones.  Either will work.  Check it out!

Zucchini Fries

Ingredients:
2 zucchini cut into fries or wedges or 8-10 mini zucchini cut in half
1/2 cup flour
1- 1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
3 eggs, whisked
2 T Romano cheese, grated
1/2 T garlic powder
1/2 T onion powder
1/2 T Italian seasoning
Salt & Pepper to taste
Oil for frying
Ranch dressing to serve (optional)

Directions:  Make a breading station.  Add whisked eggs to a bowl and add breadcrumbs with seasoning and cheese to a 2nd bowl.  In a large zip lock bag add the flour and the pieces of zucchini.  Shake the bag until the zucchini is coated with the flour. (Note: you can also do this step in a bowl.)

Bread the zucchini.  Remove from flour, dip in egg and then coat in breadcrumb.  Finish with all pieces and set aside.  (You can bread all the zucchini and then put in the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes to help the breading stay on when frying.)  Note: The breading doesn’t stay overly well on the skin side of the zucchini so it’s not abnormal for the breading to be coming off.

Heat a large sauté pan,  Add in frying oil to cover the bottom and about 1 inch deep.  Let heat up.  You can use more oil if you want. I didn’t want to use too much.  To check if you oil is hot enough you can drop a drop of water and make sure it sizzles or you can put the end of a wooden spoon in the oil and make sure there is bubbles coming from where the spoon is (This was a trick from Culinary School.)

Once the oil is ready start frying your zucchini in batches.  Don’t over crowd the pan or that will bring down the temperature of the oil and you won’t get a nice golden and even fry.Cook for 2 minutes and flip over.  If your using bigger pieces, you may need to cook 3-4 minutes on each side. Remove from oil and place on a paper towel.  Continue with remaining pieces.  You can add the zucchini to a baking sheet pan and place in a low oven, about 325° degrees to keep warm.  This is a great idea if your making a lot at one time.  Season the zucchini fries with salt to taste. Serve immediately.

Notes: Don’t forget to put on a paper towel after you take out of the oil.  If you skip this step your zucchini may get very soggy due to the oil absorbing in the zucchini.  Season with salt once you take out of the oil because then the salt will stick to the fries better.  Serve with ranch dress if you’d like.

wp-image-225559402wp-image-1320607616

Salad, Sides

Black Bean & Corn Salad

Tonight I made a black bean corn salad to go with my main entree.  While trying to be healthy I really try and make other sides that aren’t just your typically potato or rice sides.

That’s what I did here tonight.  It’s pretty basic but you can definitely add other flavors.  I used what I had on hand.

Black Bean & Corn Salad

15 oz black beans, (rinsed) (I used no salt)
1 cup frozen corn
1 T lime juice
1 T olive oil
3 T cilantro, chopped
1 small jalapeño, diced (remove seeds for less spice)
3 T red onion, chopped
2 t garlic powder
2 t onion powder
1 t chili powder
salt & pepper, to taste

Directions:  Add all ingredients to a bowl and mix well.  Chill in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
wp-image-769388195

Starters

Caprese Bruschetta

This Caprese Bruschetta is a great starter for any meal or even for a light snack or lunch.  It’s light and fresh tasting and the flavors are just amazing.

The Italian in me is a huge fan of caprese salad.  I love fresh mozzarella with a juicy ripe tomato.  With this dish I just added some garlic crostini and turned it into a bruschetta.  I could seriously make 20 of these and eat every last one of them.

This dish is definitely great for the summer as it’s light and fresh but it’s so great I’ll eat it all year long.  It’s like a mini open faced tomato and mozzarella sandwich.  Who wouldn’t enjoy that?  🙂

Caprese Bruschetta

Ingredients:
10-12 Garlic crostini (Homemade or store bought) (Recipe below)
4-6 Campari tomatoes, sliced and chilled (or any tomato)
6-8 oz fresh mozzarella, sliced or chopped
2 T Olive oil
1 T Basil, dried or fresh basil, chiffonade
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste

Crostini:
1 Baguette sliced 1/3 inch thick
1/3 cup olive oil
3 garlic cloves, grated
1 T parsley
Salt & Pepper, to taste

Directions: Preheat oven to 400°.  Add sliced baguette to a baking sheet.  In a bowl mix together oil, garlic, parsley and salt & pepper and mix well.  Brush the oil mixture onto the crostini and bake in oven for 10 minutes or until the edges start to brown. Keep an eye on the crostini so they don’t burn.

To assemble, add mozzarella to crostini and top with tomato slice. Sprinkle with basil, salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil.  Serve immediately.  Enjoy!

wp-image-1145875073