Thursday, February 27, 2014

Frozen Herbs

I have seen this idea a few places so I decided to try it myself to see if it actually worked. I hate when I buy fresh herbs and only use a little of it and end up throwing it out because I don't use them in time. So I saw that you can cop up all the extras you have and then freeze them in oil. So here's what I did.

I took my leftover basil and chopped it into small piece. I took an ice cube tray and filled each little section hallway up with olive oil. I put about a tablespoon of basil into each section. I used a fork to mix it up to make sure the basil was completely covered. Then I put that in the freezer over night. I popped the cubes out the next day and stored them in a freezer ziploc bag. It works great!! Make sure to label your ziploc bags so you don't forget which herbs you have!!

Please excuse my horrible leaf doodle... I almost threw the bag out it was so ugly!
haha the artist in me was freaking out a little...


Jared and I have pretty much rid the house of all junk food. No candy, chips, cookies....etc. It stinks. I have a sweet tooth so I'm always looking for something sweet!! So we have been looking for recipes that aren't loaded with sugar for dessert. Tonight I tried Sopapillas, a fried pastry originating in South America. So yes it's fried, so no it's probably not the healthiest thing, but it's not loaded with sugar!

This will make about 15-20 sopapillas.

2 cups Flour
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt
2 TBS Shortening
3/4 cup Warm Water
Oil to fry in
Ground Cinnamon

First heat your oil to 375*. Now again I'm going to really push buying a small fryer. While you can use a pot/pan on your stove it is WAYYYY easier with a fryer.

Mix together the Flour, Baking Soda, Salt, and Shortening. You can either use a mixer or use a fork to make sure the Shortening gets incorporated into the Flour. Next add the warm water. Once combined the dough should be smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and let it set for about 15 minutes.

Uncover the dough and roll it out to be about 1/4 inch. The dough its pretty elastic so it will take a little bit to get it to stay.

Next cut the dough into 3 inch squares, or get cookie cutters to make fun shapes! If you have kids it's fun to let them cut whatever shapes they want!

Next place the squares in the fryer. Only place a few in at a time, don't over crowd them. Fry them until they are golden brown on each side. Place them on a plate with a paper towel to soak up the extra oil.

Top them with cinnamon and honey, and you are done! These are super yummy served with some vanilla ice cream.

Hope you try this out, they are so good!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Spinach Alfredo Stuffed Chicken

This week was one of those weeks where our refrigerator was pretty much empty. If it wasn't for our Abundant Harvest box I think we would have just had ramen. But I pulled out some chicken breasts from the freezer and decided to just throw something together, and it actually worked!

Note: If you are watching your better just stop reading here, admittedly this is not the healthiest thing I have ever made.

This will make enough for 2

2 Chicken breasts
3/4 Block of Cream Cheese Softened (8oz, if your isn't softened take it out of the wrapper and toss it in the microwave for a couple seconds)
1 cup of Cooked Spinach (you can use frozen, or alb of fresh spinach will cook down to about 1 cup)
1tsp Paprika
2 Cloves Chopped Garlic
Salt & Pepper to season

First preheat your oven to 350*. Place the chicken between some plastic wrap and pound it until it's about 1/2 thick. Mix together the cooked spinach, cream cheese, paprika, and garlic. Take the cream cheese mix and spread it all over one side of the chicken. Line a baking dish with aluminum foil. Roll the chicken breasts up and place them seam down in the baking dish. They should stay put if the steam is down, but if not you can put in a couple toothpick to hold them together. Drizzle olive oil on top and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 30-40 minutes. You will know it's done when the juices run clear, or you can use a meat thermometer.

This was so good! The inside is so creamy, and keeps the chicken from drying out!
Hope you try this and enjoy!!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Iced Mocha

I'm not a huge coffee drinker. If I do drink coffee it better have lot's of sugar in it! But when I do stop at Starbucks I always get a Mocha Frappiccino! I have tried making a Farppiccino at home and it did not go well. So I decided to just settle on iced coffee and found out I actually liked it better!

So if you want to save a little and ditch the Starbucks, here's how to make an Iced Mocha at home!

16 oz Coffee (2 cups)
1 cup Milk
2-3 TBS Sugar
2 TBS Chocolate Sauce

~This will make about 24oz~

Now when I make this I make the coffee the night before and put it in the fridge over night, that way when you put ice in it, the ice won't melt right away and water it down. You can also freeze some coffee into ice cube trays and use that for ice and your coffee will stay strong. I usually don't think that far ahead lol.

All you have to do is mix all the ingredients together!

I pour everything into a large mason jar and put a lid on it and shake it up! I know you can buy the lids with the holes in it for straws, but if you don't have one of those, you can just put a cupcake liners on the top and screw the band back on and poke your straw through!

Hope you enjoy!!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Donuts, donuts, donuts!

I love donuts! But who actually wants to get up early in the morning to go buy donuts? No thank you. This is another one of my cheat recipes! So easy you won't believe it! My mom made these for us growing up and they were definitely a favorite in our family!

1 can of Flakey Layers biscuits
Peanut Oil (Or whatever oil you like to fry with)
Cinnamon Sugar
Pillsbury Chocolate/Vanilla icing

First heat your oil to 350*-375*. Take your biscuit dough and cut the center out with a small cookie cutter. If you have kids this is really fun for them to cut the donuts into fun shapes! I used hearts for my husband!

Place the dough into the fryer flipping it every few seconds until they are golden brown. Taste your first donut, if it's crispy on the outside and doughy on the inside then your oil is too hot. Finish frying your donuts and then top them however you want!

For iced and sprinkled donuts, get Pillsbury icing, place a few scoops in a bowl. Microwave it for about 10-15 seconds and then dip the tops of the donuts in it. Top it off with sprinkles!

For Cinnamon Sugar donuts just roll each donut around in the cinnamon sugar! That's it! This is so much fun and so easy! You don't have to make the dough so it's super quick.  

Hope you all give this a try!! They are so yummy and so simple! It's the perfect morning breakfast. I know I don't like waking up and having to mix a bunch of ingredients and get everything all messy, that's why this is so great! Minimal mess and no complicated dough recipes! Hope you enjoy!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Cauliflower Pizza Crust

This week in my Abundant Harvest box I got a HUGE head of cauliflower! I really like eating it steamed or just raw, but that's pretty boring so I started searching for other options. I found a few posts for Cauliflower Pizza Crust. It seemed pretty easy, but a few of the recipes were a bit complicated and had ingredients I didn't have. So like always I tossed out the recipes and just experimented with my own. One nice thing about cooking is that if you can understand the basic process for something you can then add to it or change it to make it your own! So here is my simple recipe for Cauliflower Pizza Crust!

1 head of Cauliflower
1 egg
1 1/2 cups Grated Mozzarella
2 TBS Parmesan
2 TBS Chopped Parsley
Pizza Toppings - Whatever you like, I used tomato, green bell pepper, onion, and basil. I just used Prego for the sauce and the leftover Mozzarella.

First grate the head of cauliflower and cook it in the microwave for about 6-8 minutes. Let it cool and then place it in a tea towel and squeeze out the liquid.

Preheat your oven to 425*. Mix together the grated cauliflower, egg, mozzarella, parmesan, and parsley. Lay parchment paper onto a cookie sheet. Place the cauliflower mixture onto the parchment paper and press it down. About 1/2 inch thick.

Place it in the oven for about 15-20 minutes until it looks like this...

Top it with your sauce, cheese, and other toppings, then place it back in the oven for about 5-ish minutes, or just until the cheese is all melted and the veggies are cooked.

Looks pretty yummy doesn't it?? We were pretty skeptical but it was actually really good! It's more of a knife and fork pizza, but it's still great! You get a little taste of the cauliflower, but not to the point where it's overwhelming, its a nice balance with the veggies and cheese.

This made a 12" pizza which was perfect for my husband and I. We were quite surprised at how filling it was! Usually we can eat a giant Dominio's pizza, but we ended up with a couple slices of this left over!

I hope you all try this and put your own spin on it! If you try this out, let me know how it went on my Facebook page HERE!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Sauce that Tastes just like Chick-Fil-A Sauce!

Here is a simple recipe for a sauce that tastes like that heavenly Chick-Fil-A sauce. Yum!

1/2 cup Mayonaise
2 tsp yellow mustard
1 tsp lemon juice
1 TBS honey
1 TBS BBQ sauce (I recommend the Jack Daniels BBQ sauce!)

Combine all the ingredients and stir them together! I put mine in a tupperware to keep in the fridge so I don't have to make it all over again each time. Click HERE for my Chicken Tenders Recipe!

Chicken Tenders

Chicken tenders are my weakness. When I worked at Six Flags a while back my favorite days were Chicken Tender day in the employee cafeteria.

Now I would have never even attempted this if it wasn't for my mom. But she got me an awesome fryer for Christmas so now I have fallen in love with fried foods all over again!

This recipe will make about 10 Chicken Tenders.

2 Chicken Breasts
2 cups Buttermilk (2 cups regular milk with 2 TBS lemon juice)
2 cups Flour
2 tsp Lawry's seasoned salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
A couple shakes of black pepper
Peanut oil (or Vegetable oil)

I use a fryer, so I just fill it to the line it shows me and turn the dial to 350*, but if you don't have a fryer fill a pan with a couple inches of oil and use a thermometer, heat your oil to 350*.

First cut the chicken breasts into inch thick strips. Set aside 1/2 cup of the buttermilk and let the raw chicken strips soak in the rest. While those are soaking mix together the Flour, Seasoned salt, Garlic powder and pepper. Slowly add in the buttermilk with a fork until it looks like this:

It might not take the whole 1/2 cup, I think I only used a 1/4 cup, but it's better to have a little extra just in case! Once that is done take the chicken strips out of the milk one at time and cover them in the flour mixture. After they are covered put them in the hot oil and fry for 6-8 minutes. I would do one chicken strip first just to test how long it takes so that you don't accidentally overcook or undercook all of them. When they are done frying take them out and set them on a plate with a paper towel to soak up the extra oil. My fryer is small so I could only fry about 3 at a time, so you can heat your oven up to about 300* and let the finished Chicken Tenders hang out in there while you finish up the rest, that will keep them nice and warm!

I made a really yummy sauce that tastes just like Chick-fil-a sauce to go with mine! If you want that recipe click HERE!


Friday, February 14, 2014

Baked Artichoke

I love the artichoke hearts in a jar covered in oil. But every time I have tried a cooked fresh artichoke I have been disappointed. So I did some research and decided to try baking it! I was quite happy with the result!

1 Artichoke
2 cloves of Garlic
1 Lemon
Olive oil
Salt (I use coarse sea salt)

Preheat oven to 400*
First cut the stem off all the way to the bottom of the artichoke. Then cut about an inch off the top so you can see all the layers of leaves on the inside.

Slice up the garlic. Spread the leaves apart and stuff the pieces of garlic in between the leaves. Next place to artichoke into aluminum foil, but don't close it up yet! squeeze half of a lemon into the leaves, and then drizzle in some olive oil. Top it off with a generous amount of salt and then close up the aluminum foil.

Set it in the oven and bake for 1 hour. If you are using a really big artichoke it might take a bit longer.

--I also made a dip for mine--

3 TBS Mayonnaise
1 TBS Dijon Mustard
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1 tsp Lemon Juice
Salt and Pepper

It was actually pretty good! I just got a few Artichokes from Abundant Harvest, so I will for sure be doing this again!

Oh and don't forget to get the heart before you throw it all out!!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Pan-Roasted Herbed Carrots

Lately in my produce box we have been getting lots of carrots so I wanted to try something new to cook them and this is what I came up with!

10 carrots (my carrots are about 6 inches long and maybe and inch thick, so if you get store bought carrots you might want to cut them down.)
1/4 cup chopped Parsley
2 cloves minced Garlic
2/3 cup chicken stock
2 TBL olive oil

Add the stock, oil, garlic and carrots to a pan. Heat and let simmer for 12-15 minutes with the lid on. If your stock evaporates before the 12-15 minutes just add a little more in. Make sure to roll the carrots around every now and then so they cook evenly.

Uncover and let the stock cook down for minute and add in the Parsley. Cook for another 2-3 minutes and keep the carrots moving so they don't burn! And that's it!

Find the recipe for this Roasted Chicken HERE!
An easy side that looks and tastes awesome!!

Spatchcock Chicken

I'm sorry what??? Yes, Spatchcock. Weird right?? But this will cut your chicken roasting time in HALF! Of course I heard about this on a cooking show and did some research. Spatchcock is a cooking method, not a recipe. So you can do this will any bird you are roasting. Spatchcock is just removing the backbone of the chicken so that it will lay flat on a pan. And since it it laying flat, it only take 45 minutes to roast!!

1 5lb Whole Chicken
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper

You will also need a heft pair of kitchen sheers.

So before we begin, I would like to say dealing with raw meat is gross. Chicken is extra gross, whole chickens are even more extra gross, and cutting the backbone out of a chicken is well....even more super extra gross. It just is, but this recipe is so worth it! The first time I tried this I actually kept apologizes to the poor chicken because I was doing such a bad job I felt really bad for it... But with a little practice and a couple chickens later I am pretty good!

Preheat your oven to 420*. Remove the chicken guts a rinse it off. Place the chicken breast side down on you poultry cutting board (yes I do have cutting boards I use just for poultry). First find the backbone and go a little less than an inch over and begin to cut through the ribs following the backbone. I found that it helped if I cut just up the skin first so I had a line to follow.

Admittedly I cut this one a bit crooked, like I said it takes a little bit of practice. Once you are done with one side, do the next side. Now you could just throw that backbone away, or you could save it and make a chicken stock later! I also remove the little wings, but you don't have to.

Next, open the chicken like a book (I am so sorry chicken) and place it down on the pan.

You will notice the top up by the breasts is raised because there is a bone in there holding it up, so use you palm to press hard right between the breasts. You will feel it pop and it will flatten completely. If you can't press it down, you can flip it over and feel for that bone and cut it with your sheers.

Pour a few tablespoons of olive oil on the chicken and rub it all over. Next sprinkle it with salt and pepper, don't be afraid of that salt and pepper!!!

Roast for 45 minutes, or until the internal temp is 165*.

 The skin will be super golden brown, and CRISPY!!! YUMMM.

I served mine with my Pan Roasted Herbed Carrots, the recipe found HERE!

This was delicious and even tastes great as leftovers. I know this whole process seems intimidating, but you can do it!! Just give it a try!!

Crispy French Fries

Usually I make baked french fries so I can throw them in the oven and they aren't much work. In fact I have a great recipe on here for that. But for Christmas my mom got me a new fryer.........which is just trouble for me. I now want to fry EVERYTHING. I might eventually come up with the new best fried food sensation!! Probably not, but I'll work on it....

So how do you get a really nice crispy french fry?? Double fry it.

Peanut Oil (or whatever frying oil you prefer)
Russet potato

I HIGHLY suggest using a fryer with a metal basket for these, it will make your life so much easier.

Set your fryer or heat your oil to 340*. While that is heating up cut your potatoes into 1/2 in sticks.

Once your oil is up to temperature place several in for 7 minutes. Once they are done pull the basket up and let the oil fall off them for a minute. If you aren't using a fryer with a basket, just scoop the fries out and set them on a plate with a paper towel. Turn up the heat to 375*. Place the fries back in for another 7 minutes or until they are light golden brown.

Once you take them out salt them! You need a little oil on them to help the salt stick. They will cook a little more once they are out so don't let them get too brown in the fryer.

I personally suggest going all out and having and awesome BLT with your fries!! These fries are so good! Soft on the inside and once and crispy on the outside! Hope you all have fun frying stuff up!!

Best Waffles Ever

Waffles are probably my new favorite breakfast (maybe even lunch/dinner) food I have started making. But one thing I always hated about waffles is that they seemed bland until you dumped a bottle of syrup on them with a stick of butter. I tried making chocolate waffles, but I wasn't a huge fan (me not liking something chocolatey??). Anyways so I started experimenting, and a few batches of waffles later, my most simple experiment is my favorite!!

2 cups Flour
1 tsp Salt
4 tsp Baking Powder
2 TBL Sugar
2 Eggs
1 1/2 cup Milk
1/3 cup Butter Melted
1 tsp Vanilla
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon

This recipe will make 6 waffles.

First mix all the dry ingredients. Add in the eggs and milk. Let the butter cool for a minute and then stir that in. Cook following the instructions for your waffle iron.

Now, since I have made this several times, I have figured out a few tip and tricks. Pre-mix your dry ingredients. One night I sat down and made about 4 bags of "waffle mix" of just the dry ingredients, and on the outside I wrote the list of the wet ingredients that needed to be added. This made things so much easier!! My husband also liked that so when I was gone he could make them himself. Also these waffles freeze PERFECTLY! I use all of the batter and then store the rest in my freezer in a big tupperware. And my husband liked that even more that the tip I mentioned before because all he had to do was pop them in the toaster. It's so great!