spaghetti with muffin tin meatballs, salad
instant pot enchiladas verdes, black beans
steamed shrimp, broccoli
vegetable calzones
animal style burgers, tater tots
chipotle honey lime pork tenderloin, skillet corn, green beans
spicy Asian noodles with chicken

Monday, January 23, 2017

Homestyle Chicken and Noodles

We had our full three day winter here in Houston, temperatures are now back in the 80s, though we may get another "cold" front this week.  And this is the perfect meal for a cold front, even if it really isn't that cold (high is still in the 60s.)  The whole family approved of the meal and I was shocked how quickly it came together, it tasted like it was simmering for hours.  Thanks to Elly Says Opa for the amazing recipe!
Homestyle Chicken and Noodles

6 bone-in chicken thighs, skin removed
1 onion, chopped
1 pound carrots, peeled and sliced
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon dried thyme
¾ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
3 cups chicken broth
12 ounces frozen egg noodles
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons flour

In a Dutch oven, add the chicken, onion, carrots, bay leaves, thyme, salt and pepper. Pour the broth over top. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove the chicken, shred the meat and discard the bones. Return the broth to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the egg noodles and cook for 15 minutes. Add the peas and cook 5 minutes more. Whisk together the milk and flour. Pour the milk mixture into the pot, stirring constantly. Simmer for 3 minutes until the mixture has thickened. Return the chicken to the pot and simmer until warmed through. Serve.

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Thursday, January 19, 2017

Twice Baked Potatoes

Miss F hates potatoes. HATES. I don't get her aversion at all, she doesn't even like French fries, how crazy is that? So one night while she was spending the night at my parents, I decided to make twice baked potatoes for C and I. I had never made them before and I was quite nervous about keeping the skins in tact, but it turns out, it was quite easy. So easy in fact, that I am going to make them for an upcoming dinner party. I can do all the prep work in advance, then just warm them for the dinner party. I like to be as hands off as possible for dinner parties, I like to spend time with my guests (and my wine!), not spend time in the kitchen.  These potatoes are very decadent, so half a potato per person is plenty.
Twice Baked Potatoes

2 large russet potatoes
¼ cup butter
¼ cup sour cream
½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons milk
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Using a fork, prick a few holes into the top of each potato. Place the potatoes directly on the oven rack and bake for 1 hour, until cooked through. Set aside to cool.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. With a sharp knife, cut each potato in half lengthways. Scoop out the insides of each potato making sure to keep the skins in tact. Place the skins on a baking sheet. In a medium bowl, smash the scooped out potatoes with the butter, sour cream, ¼ cup of the cheddar cheese, milk, salt and pepper. Spoon the potato mixture into the prepared potato skins. Top each with 1 tablespoon of cheddar cheese. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
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Monday, January 16, 2017

Crockpot Cuban Shredded Beef

This recipe was a massive hit in our family. Miss F, C and I all really enjoyed this meal. I didn't partake in the beans, but I was just as happy to have the beef over rice alone.  Make sure you add a generous squeeze of lime juice before you eat it, it makes a huge difference.  We used the leftovers in quesadillas the next night, but the qould be equally good in tacos, burritos or taquitos. The meat is amazingly tender, thanks to being cooked low and slow all day.  Next time I will try and prepare it in the Instant Pot, for a dinner when I don't have time to mess with the crockpot in the morning.  Thanks to Little Spice Jar for the amazing recipe.
Crockpot Cuban Shredded Beef

2 to 2 ½ pounds beef chuck roast
6 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon oil
2 (8 ounce) cans tomato sauce
1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chilies
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon white vinegar
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
¼ cup chopped cilantro
white rice
black beans
1 lime, cut into wedges

Using a paring knife, score three small “X” marks into the meat, press one garlic clove into each “X”. Heat the oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the roast and sear on each side for 5 minutes.

Chop the remaining cloves are garlic. Add the chopped garlic, tomato sauce, bell pepper, onions, chilies, tomato paste, oregano, salt, cumin, vinegar, red pepper flakes and cilantro to the crockpot. Add the seared roast, cover and cook on low for 8 hours. Shred the beef with two forks and stir into the sauce. Serve with white rice, black beans and lime wedges.

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