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Back at it

So a while ago I had mentioned wanting to cook several recipes from my cookbook collection. Well this week I finally picked which cookbook author I would finally start with. It’s none other then Red Drummond recipes. I have all of her cookbooks and have acquired numerous recipes off her cooking show and website. So today I am going to introduce you to a delicious recipe my kids were so excited to try. I made Ree Drummond Cookies and cream Rolls, you can find the recipe here. Now I’m a little bit of a rule breaker when it comes to following recipes. So I should let you know that I actually made my dough in the bread machine using the dough cycle instead of following the steps listed in the recipe. I also may have misread the filling and mixed the crushed cookies in with the cream cheese filling. It didn’t matter though these were delicious and decadent. I would caution you thou if you don’t have big eaters in your house you may want to consider making the rolls a little smaller. My kids can eat a half of these amazing rolls at a time. Here’s a few pictures of the rolls thru the process. Trust me you want to give these a try they don’t disappoint.

Date Night-Middle Eastern Beef and Sweet Potato Bowls

We have the privilege of living in a beautiful town close to the Ocean that isn’t a huge town. Those are just some of the plus sides to where we live. The downside however is in order to get a broad variety of food diversity we need to drive just over an hour. Thankfully as someone that has been thru culinary school and worked as a chef is a challenge I am ready to take on at home. This date night was no exception I was ready to create a fun meal that would delight my tastebuds and be somewhat healthy.

The first thing I had to do was create a spice blend I decided to make this one. Then I set out to make the meal.

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Middle Eastern Beef and Sweet Potato Bowl

Servings 4

Equipment

  • 1 Sheet pan
  • 1 skillet
  • 2 Mixing bowls
  • Measuring cups and spoons

Ingredients

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes diced into bite size pieces
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 3 1/2 tsp spice mix Link above
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 2 small zucchini diced
  • 4 tbsp sour cream
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 4 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp vegetable better than bouillon
  • 1/4 cup water
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 425 degree. Place sweet potatoes and 2 tbsp of oil in a large bowl. Sprinkle with with half the spice mixture and toss to coat. Place on parchment lined baking sheet and cook for 20-25 minutes turning once halfway thru.
  • In a small mixing bowl mix sour cream with 1/4-1/2 tsp of the spice blend. Add water 1 tsp at a time till it can be drizzled.
  • Heat 1 tbsp oil in skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook till soft about 3 minutes. Then add in ground beef, tomato paste, vegetable bouillon, water and remaining spice blend, salt and pepper. Cook 3 to 4 minutes crumbling the meat as it cooks.
    Add zucchini and continue cooking until beef is cooked thru about 3-4 minutes.
  • To serve divide potatoes among four bowls, top with meat mixture and drizzle with spiced sour cream.

Cinnamon Rolls with a Twist

I decided I would treat the kids in the morning for breakfast. Now I know I know this isn’t the healthiest breakfast in the world, however every once in a while you just gotta live a little. The inspiration behind these rolls? It was a container of Strawberry cream cheese I wanted out of my fridge and used before it expired. So I took out my bread machine and set out to start on the dough.

I placed the following ingredients in my bread machine in this order.

1 cup warm milk

2 eggs room temperature slightly beaten

1/3 cup melted butter

4 1/2 cups flour

1 tsp salt

1/2 cup sugar

2 1/2 tsp yeast

Set bread machine to the dough cycle and start. My dough cycle takes an hour and a half.

While the dough is in the machine mix your cinnamon and brown sugar for the topping.

1 cup of brown sugar

2 1/2 tbsp cinnamon

Set 1/3 cup of butter on the counter to soften (you will spread this on the dough before sprinkling the cinnamon mixture.

Once the dough cycle has ended on a lightly floured surface roll out the dough to a rectangular shape. Roughly a 24×12 rectangle. Spread butter all over the surface then sprinkle cinnamon sugar on top making sure you get all the way to the edges.

Then start rolling from the long of the dough. Cut into 16 rolls.

Place in greased baking dish and let rise for 40-60 minutes. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven until golden brown about 15 minutes.

This next step is optional but oh so delicious. The frosting!

3 Oz cream cheese (I used strawberry cream cheese today but you can use plain)

1/4 cup of softened butter

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla extract (I also switched this to strawberry today)

1/8 tsp salt

Put all the ingredients in a medium size bowl and beat with an electric mixer till smooth.

With the cinnamon rolls still warm spread frosting over the top. Serve and enjoy.

A Sweet Treat

If you’ve been to Starbucks you have probably seen the oat fudge bars they sell. They always look so delicious and inviting with a hefty price tag. Well since the closest Starbucks to my place in about an hour and fifteen minutes away I wasn’t about to get in my car and travel for a sweet treat. I set out to find a recipe so I can make them at home and boy am I ever glad I did. I’ll link the video of where I found the recipe here. If you have a chance take a look around A Country Life channel there’s lots of great content there.

My kids absolutely loved these bars. In fact they since they ate the last one they’ve been bugging me to make another batch. I see these becoming part of our monthly dessert rotation they’re that good. Go watch the video and let me know if you try them out.

A Fun Experiment

As a mother to 3 children that I homeschool I wanted to start teaching my kids about food budgeting and shopping. With the media reporting food prices on the rise and food shortages, I wanted to show my kids what it takes to budget and that we can adapt on the spot in the store. Now keep in mind with this exercise I didn’t have many rules just gave my son a set amount of cash, in this case 50$. We first looked at the flyer for the store we were going to shop and made a list and headed out. I won’t say that everything my son picked was healthy or that there wasn’t other options he could have chosen but the point was to start planting the seed of what it takes. I should also point out that we have food at home so this was extra food coming into the house. As I do these exercises with the kids more often I will start to ask them to plan for three meals a day etc. He chose to buy foods primarily for lunches and supper. I did let him know that things like butter, oil and seasonings were covered this time. He came in under budget at 42,74$. Here’s the meal ideas he came up with:

Meal 1 -Honey Garlic Sausages with broccoli and yellow pepper as a sheet pan dinner

Meal 2-Deli meat with cucumbers and Pringles

Meal 3- Kraft dinner with sliced hot dogs

Meal 4- Kraft Dinner

Meal 5- Sliced hot dogs and Pringles

Snacks- Pringles, cucumber

Treat-Sprite

The hot dog package he purchased has enough hot dogs that our family if only eating 1 each could get four meals. And the Kraft dinner he purchased and deli meat would last a few meals as well. I am quite aware that this is very kid focused foods but he did pick out some veggies and protein so for this time he did quite well never having had to shop and look at the prices before.

What do you think your kids would purchase if they had the chance?

An Easy Dinner

Some days are busier then others. When nights like that happen I like to have options that aren’t everyday options but that are convenient. This meal filled some bellies and kept us out of the restaurant so I am going to count this as a win. It started with a pack of hot dog buns that needed to be used and I knew I wanted some home made cheezy garlic bread. Then I needed to decide what I wanted that was quick and easy as the main part of the meal and found a package of Tortellini and voila supper was in the works.

Garlic Butter is pretty simple to make and so flavourful. My measurements will be approximate because it depends on the amount of butter I have on hand and garlic. Here’s how I made it this week.

1/2 cup softener butter

6 garlic cloves minced on the microplane

1/2 tbsp dried parsley

salt and pepper to taste

Mix everything together and start making that garlic bread 🙂

I spread the garlic butter on the hot dog buns topped with cheese and baked at 400 till warm and broil till cheese is bubbly.

Better Burgers

I have to admit I love a good burger and fry night. And while I enjoy a deliciously grilled burger I use to feel guilty for not having some sort of veggies served with the meal. I then started making my own patties and it changed everything. Not only is the taste a lot more complex but I no longer need to worry about the guilt of not serving a veggie because I put them right into the burgers. I use a hamburger press to make them even and for freezing. When I make patties I tend to make a large batch so I don’t have to make them every time we have burgers.

Here’s the recipe I use

4 lbs Ground Beef ( I tend to use lean)

1 Zucchini

4-5 Mushrooms

2 Carrots

1 onion

2 Bell peppers ( I prefer the sweet ones as opposed to the green)

2-3 Cloves of Garlic ( or more if you love garlic as much as I do)

2-3 handfuls of Spinach

1 egg

A splash of Soy sauce

Take your veggies and place them in the food processor and finely chop. You may need to do this in a several batches. Add veggies, ground beef, egg and soy sauce to a large bowl. Mix well. Form into patties (I get between 16-20 burgers depending on size) freeze till ready to grill.

I hope you give this recipe a try! What are your favourite burger recipes?

These look huge but I just took a really close picture of the patties.

Date Night- Chicken Marsala

When we lived on the west coast we would sometimes go to Olive Garden for a meal as a family. My favourite thing to order was Chicken Marsala. The mushrooms and Marsala sauce and perfectly seared chicken served on creamy mashed potatoes just always hit the spot. So you better believe that I decided I was going to make a homemade version so we could have date night at home.

Here’s the ingredients you’ll need:

4 chicken breast cut in half and pounded thin

2-4 Tbsp flour

salt and pepper

4 Tbsp of Butter

2 cups of mushrooms sliced

3/4 to 1 cup Marsala wine

1/4 cup Water

Parsley to finish

In a shallow dish mix flour, salt and pepper. Dredge chicken in flour and set aside.

In a large skillet melt 2 TBSP butter over medium heat and add mushrooms. Sautee for 10 minutes and then remove from pan.

Add remaining 2 TBSP of butter to the skillet and cook chicken. You might need to do this in batches depending on size of chicken. Cook chicken till no longer pink and at safe cooking temperature. Remove to a plate or serving platter.

Put mushrooms, wine and water back into skillet, heat and reduce slightly. Pour over chicken, sprinkle with fresh or dried parsley and serve over noodles or mashed potatoes.

Call Me Julia Child

Have you seen the new Julia Childs show on Prime video? If you haven’t you have to check it out. I have so many of her recipes that I am excited to try but just like Episode 1 of the TV series I decided the best place to start would be an Omelette! I might not quite have the rolled omelette techniques down yet but the taste was delicious. Now I of course couldn’t just make a plain Omelette I filled it with some sautĂ©ed mushrooms and shredded cheese. I am hoping to get my hands on the Julia Childs cookbooks or maybe someone will order them for me from Amazon (hint hint husband lol)

Making this omelette only take a few staple ingredients. You will need 1 tbsp of butter, 2 eggs and some salt and pepper. The like I mentioned I added some sautéed mushrooms and shredded cheese.

Heat your pan over medium high heat and melt butter. Crack the eggs in a bowl and whisk with salt and pepper. Once butter is melted add the eggs to the pan and swirl around then put on heat and let set. After the eggs are set and cooked add cheese and mushrooms then attempt to roll the omelette and make picture perfect lol. But in all seriousness even if you don’t roll or fold it perfectly it will still taste amazing!

Tacos Tuesday!!!

Well as most parents that had toddlers when the Lego Movie came out the Taco Tuesday craziness lol. My oldest is in his teens and still refers to Tuesday as Taco Tuesday. It’s a fun little spin on things and can make a themed meal plan a little simpler. The thing is I’ve discovered Tacos don’t always mean the traditional ground beef tacos most of us have grown up with there’s a whole variety of to choose from from chicken ranch to ground beef to pork. Tonight we went will pork and man these were phenomenal.

Tuesday’s we usually have a homeschool outing so I decided to make the meat in the crockpot so we avoided hitting the drive thru on the way home. The best part of this recipe is it makes enough to eat tonight and throw some in the freezer for another meal.

Here’s the recipe

4 lbs Pork Shoulder Roast

1 Onion diced

4-6 Garlic cloves minced

Seasonings of choice(I used chicken and rib rub, salt and pepper)

1 cup chicken broth

1/2 cup orange juice

4 tbsp Lime juice

Put the onion, garlic, chicken broth, orange juice and lime juice in the crockpot. Season pork and add to crockpot. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Remove roast to a cookie sheet lined with foil and shred the pork. Place in oven under broiler till crispy bits form on the top of the meat. Use the meat to make tacos to your preference. We warmed tortillas topped it with the meat, diced raw onions, cheese, salsa, sour cream and avocado.

How do you like your Tacos?