Saturday, May 4, 2013

Quick black bean dinner

We love our black beans. They are cheap and packed with protein. Here is a quick post with one of our fave ways to eat them. It's black beans and corn over rice. If you have canned on hand it makes it a super quick meal. 

All mixed up 

You guys have any fave black bean recipes? I'm always looking for more! 

Friday, May 3, 2013

Strawberries and Mint

It happens to the best of us. We buy strawberries, we plan to eat them before they turn bad and *poof* they start getting furry and smooshy. It can happen so fast! I hate throwing out food, especially strawberries which are one of the tastiest things on earth. So what do you do with strawberries that are not perfect, but not yet totally beyond hope?

One of my favorite things to do is to slice them and sprinkle a bit of sugar over them. Slicing them lets me cut off the iffy bits, and the sugar softens the berries and makes an amazing syrup on the bottom of the bowl. I decided to be fancy this time and chop up a bit of mint to mix in.


Well almost. It was really missing ice cream. But it was still really yummy!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Leftover Greek Salad as Pasta Sauce

Ah leftovers.  Sometimes love em. Sometimes hate em. Sometimes wonder how in the world there is so much and what you can do with it because by day are tired of looking at it.

This would be one of those too much of a good thing moments! I had this wonderful Greek salad of cucumber, red bell pepper, cherry tomatoes, kalamata olives, onion, and feta.  All in this really good vinaigrette. But, I was getting tired of eating it. I was tired of looking at it! But I really hate throwing away good food so I decided to do something with it. First thing that came to mind was pasta!

First I fished out the tomatoes, onions, and peppers

I then sauteed them in a pan.  I didn't need to add any oil since they had oil from the vinaigrette.

I cooked them until they softened

I then added some leftover chicken (it is pesto chicken, please do not be alarmed by the green chicken!) After the chicken heated up a bit I added in the diced olives.

Once everything was nice and hot I tossed in some pasta.

Gave everything a stir..

Topped it with some feta

And tada!

Ok, so I didn't use the cucumbers, but since I am not a huge fan of cucumbers, I didn't feel too sad about that...oops? But at least it was tasty! 

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Baby Dutch Babies

When I was little my dad would make Dutch Babies (German Pancakes) for us for breakfast. Oh how I love them! I never made them on my own since the only pan I have is HUGE and would feed a small army.  Then one day on Pinterest I came upon this pin. *gasp* using a muffin tin to make mini dutch babies!!! This meant I could make a smaller batch AND they are adorable to boot!

Here is the recipe as found on

Mini German Pancakes
1 cup milk
6 eggs
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. orange zest (optional)
1/4 cup butter, melted
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Blend first six ingredients (milk thru orange zest) in a blender.  Be careful to see that any flour clumps get well-blended.
  2. Blend in butter a little at a time in order to temper the eggs.
  3. Grease muffin tins well and distribute batter evenly between 24 tins. Bake for 15 minutes, or until puffy and golden on top.

I omitted the orange zest since I didn't have an orange. I want to try it next time though as it would be super yummy. I also halfed the recipe as  there were only three people eating. Another reason why I love this recipe! Totally easy to scale up or down.

All set to go in the oven! 

Right out of the oven they are super puffy and airy.

They do settle a bit as they cool, but they are still light in texture.  I topped mine with powdered sugar, but you can top with anything you like! My family loves powdered sugar with lemon. Syrup is good too, and if  you have fresh berries is SUPER yummy.

Hope you give these a try! Super easy and much less daunting than making a full size Dutch Baby, and much cuter! 

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Pinto Beans with Bacon

Pinto beans are a great source of protein, but on their own can be a bit bland. How to fix this? Well bacon of course!! Bacon is one of those magical ingredients that can make almost anything taste wonderful!

I started out by cutting 4 slices of bacon into narrow strips.  You could do chunks, small bits, whatever tickles your fancy.

Cook until crispy. Mmmmmm bacon. (you can choose to take out the bacon grease or you can leave it in.  I decided to leave it in since it wasn't very much and its soooo tasty. Diet be damned!)

I then added in my soaked beans.  I use the quick soak method as I am not nearly organized enough to soak my beans the night before.  To quick soak you boil the beans in water for 2 minutes, then put a lid on them and remove from the heat.  You then let them sit for an hour and *tada* soaked beans! I used about a half pound of beans for this batch.

I also added in salt and tons of pepper.

Add water to cover and bring to a simmer. Once at a simmer leave it on low for 1-2 hours.  After an hour I started checking them about every 15 minutes to see if they were done yet. (Bonus is the entire time they cook the house will smell of BACON)

Once done mine looked like this.

They are great on their own, but I had them wrapped in a tortilla for a bean burrito. Super nummy.  Another thing I love about beans is how easy it is to change up what you put in them. This could have easily been vegetarian and instead of bacon maybe add in some chilies to add some spice.  Super cheap and easy to make! 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Corn Dog Muffins

I saw this posted on Pinterest and had to try it! It is super simple and a way to have a corndog without the extra oil (or if you are me, the risk of setting the kitchen on fire from that much oil)

Start out with a basic corn bread recipe, I followed the instructions on the box.  This would also be super easy with Jiffy muffin mix.

Recipe from the box of Quaker Yellow Corn Meal

1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup corn meal
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 egg

(extra step I had to take was calling the neighbor in a panic because I forgot I was out of baking powder)

Get your dry ingredients out (yes my mixing bowl is a soup bowl. Why? My mixing bowls are holding fruit =P)

Mix in your wet

Cut your hot dog, I cut each one into thirds

Pour your batter into greased muffin tins (I used full size, but mini would have been even better!)

Pop in your hot dogs

Bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes and tada!

They really were not half bad! And about as healthy as a corn dog could get

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Gnocchi from leftovers!

I love the fact I am dating a chef, that means I get to eat lots of nummy food.  One downside is when he brings home the same thing over and over.  The most common item is garlic mashed potatoes.  I mean they are really good, but every week...for months..gets to be a bit much! So I had a aha moment about a month ago.  I LOVE gnocchi and have even made them before.  It occurred to me that gnocchi are mashed potato, flour, egg, and cheese.  Looked at the box o mashed and thought hmmmmm I wonder! I googled my idea and found this recipe. I decided to cut it in half for me since that would mean less I would be tempted to eat! 

1 egg
1 cup leftover mashed potato
pinch of salt

That's it! I didn't add any seasoning as the mash was already cheessy and garlicy. 

The lineup (the black box is the box o mashed potato) 

Mix everything together, I find using a fork is the easiest.  If the mash has been in the fridge, pop it in the microwave for a minute to warm it up so it is less brick like.  Take a bit at a time and roll it out into a log on a floured board. Then cut into pieces.  You can roll the pieces on a fork or a gnocchi board if you like.  I used to do this so I could be authentic, but when I saw gnocchi on Iron Chef and they were not rolled I felt justified being lazy and leaving them as is =P The pop them into boiling water until they float.  Don't leave in too long or they will absorb water and turn into something akin to paste. 

For my sauce, I decided to doctor up a jar of pasta sauce.  To start out I took some olive oil, minced garlic, and pepper flake.  I heated on low for about 20 minutes to let the oils from the flakes come out and for the garlic to soften.  I then added in my tomato sauce.  

Add to gnocchi and tada! Dinner!