Wednesday, July 26, 2017

August

I can't even believe I'm about to write a post that discusses the end of summer, and the beginning of school.  It's just impossible.

Nevertheless, the calendar doesn't lie, so I'm preparing myself little by little.  We've got our school supply shopping done, and we are making plans to squeeze in our last summer bucket list items.  And now, my menu for August is done so at least we will have a plan for eating.  It's an odd month with a mix of summer cooking, quick recipes as school starts, and simple Dad's On a Work Trip recipes that my kiddo and I enjoy.

Cheers to the end of summer!  Make the most of it friends!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

For Steak and Potato and Pizza People

 

Good Midwestern people looooove their steak and potatoes, and, of course, everyone loves pizza. So what happens when you put it all together? Magic!

This Steak & Potato Pizza sounded good from the get-go, and when I had some leftover steak from last weekend, I decided this was the perfect time to give it a try.  With a purchased pizza crust as the start, this recipe couldn't be easier.  Boil potatoes, cut up the steak, chop some onion, and you are ready to build the pizza.

Two bits of wisdom to pass along: add more red onion than looks "balanced" or "pretty".  The onion really countered the bland flavors of the potato.  I did not add the bleu cheese because I'm the only one in my house who likes it.  I sooo wished I had gotten a little to sprinkle on just my slice.  The bite of the bleu would be the perfect foil for the steak and potatoes combo.

I'm definitely keeping this one in my bag of tricks for leftover steak in the future.  It's delicious, and the smell while it's baking is worthwhile in and of itself.

 

Thursday, July 13, 2017

What the What?!

What, you say?!  A new blog post a mere 11 days after the last one?  That's craaaaaaaaaazy.  And yet, here we are.

All the usual summer unusualness has been in full swing.  As I've mentioned previously, we're eating, but nothing exotic or new.  I did manage to try two new recipes this week, though, and both of them were on the same night!  Can you even imagine such a thing!?!  Oh wait, that happens a lot at other times...

So here you have it, two recipes, both awesome for the steamy hot days of summer when no one feels like doing anything.  First, we have Crockpot Sticky BBQ Meatballs.  Super easy meatball recipe that could be for an appetizer or meal.  I did ours as a meal.  Even with cutting back on the paprika, the heat eventually caught up to me on this recipe.  I don't ever remember paprika getting to me, but it sure seems to these days.  I still prefer the cocktail sauce/grape jelly meatballs, but I'm BBQ ambivalent.  If barbecue is your thing, these are a great choice.


Dessert has been missing around these parts.  Maybe because we realized we'd been eating an awful or lot, or more probably, the kiddo is at camp and she has high dessert standards.  Since it was sticky, steamy, hot outside, I looked for a no bake option and came away with a winner!  These No Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Bars are very similar to your traditional no bake chocolate cookie, but the brown sugar and vanilla add a lovely something special.  In fact, I think I much prefer them.

All whats aside, these are two good recipes to add to your collection, especially if you are feeling a little short on energy and effort in the midst of your busy summer.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

The Living Is Easy

It's summertime, of course, and things have been great, but the cooking hiatus has started.  We've been traveling, hosting guests, and soaking up all the warm sunshine and time together.

I've had a few recipes here and there that I can recommend.

First, this Caramel Twix Poke Cake.  As with most poke cakes, it was fantastically moist and sweet.  I don't know that it has much in the way of Twix flavor, but, man, is it good.  Highly recommend!

Next, I made these Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Dough Crumble Bars.  If you are looking for a sweet and gooey bar, these are a good fit.  Don't, however, expect a strong peanut butter cup flavor.  For me, that's just as well.  I'm not a die hard peanut butter cup fan, although I do enjoy them on occasion.  Actually, what I'd like to see more of in this recipe is a salty and crunchy contrast.  If I could think of a way to work pretzels into the recipe and have them retain their salty crunch, that would be perfect!

So there's a few desserts you can try for a summer barbecue or family get together.  Both recipes were met with rave reviews from my husband's extended family.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Gnocc Gnocc

Who's there?

Gnocchi.

Gnocchi who?

One Pot Gnocchi with Spinach and Chicken.


You just can't beat the potatoey doughiness of gnocchi.  I love it, and I'm always eager to try new recipes that use it.  This one pot meal had a wonderful combination of things we like, with a short cooking time.


It turned out as good as expected. I love when that happens.  The sauce didn't thicken as much as expected, but I think that's probably good it wasn't super heavy for a warm, summer, evening.  I particularly liked the toasty goodness of the Parmesan on top.  In fact, if you happen to sprinkle a little extra on top, I doubt you'll be sorry.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Pinch Hitter


I'm always an advocate of menu planning to everyone I meet.  However, one rule I always share is that the menu has to be flexible--for grocery sales, for moods, for time, for sharing, for whatever.  The plan isn't freeing if it doesn't allow your family to be you, and freedom is the whole point.  
For some reason, I can't even remember, I ended up subbing this Cheesy Kielbasa Rice Skillet into the menu.  And what a great swap it was.  The convenience of one dish, and the delightful simplicity of working on just one dish for everything make it a first rate choice.  

This recipe was well received by everyone at my table, and I particularly enjoyed the leftovers--of which there were plenty.  The part of me that is my mother also took notice of the pretty color mixture on the plate.😉

I highly recommend this recipe as a plan or as a substitute.  In either case, you won't be disappointed.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

More Sheets

Even though we are in the heart of grilling season, my experimentation with sheet pan dinners continues.  You can't beat the one time prep with time to catch your breath while it bakes.


Today's edition is this Hawaiian Sheet Pan Chicken.  Firstly, the food is just so stinkin' pretty, how could I not try it?  Secondly, Hawaiian flavors incorporate all things summery in flavor, so it's a perfect fit.  Finally, when the grocery store times a sale on pineapple and peppers in the exact week you need them, who can argue?

This recipe turned out as pretty as promised, and tasty too.  Don't skip the lime and coconut at the end, especially the coconut.  Both items add just the right extra touch.  I highly recommend a little salt sprinkled across the pan, even if the recipe doesn't call for it.  The pineapple was absolutely delightful when it was roasted.  I kind of want to eat it this way every day.