Saturday, April 30, 2011

Nuggets, Nuggets, All Around...

Good evening fellow bloggers! I come to you all with more chicken tonight, but not the typical whole chicken or chicken wings. I come to you with the proposal of delicious chicken nuggets. Yes, I said chicken nuggets. Think of that delicious white meat, tender and juicy... I'm sure when most of you think chicken nuggets, your mind automatically goes to McDonald's or some other fast food joint with their processed food and "fake" chicken. Well, not tonight folks. We are serving up something real. Something that will have your taste buds screaming for more. So, if you are all with me, we will begin!

Honey Mustard Panko Chicken Nuggets

You will need:

  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup yellow mustard
  • 2 tablespoon orange juice
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 2 to 3 pounds of chicken tenderloins or chicken breast, cut into chunks
  • olive oil cooking spray
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat or flour all-purpose
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cups coarse dry whole-wheat Panko bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoons salt, divided

Are you ready to get cooking? Me too!

  1. Combine the honey, mustard, orange juice and garlic in a bowl and whisk until combined.
  2. Pour the mixture into a storage bag, add the chicken and marinate 30 minutes to a few hours.
  3. When you are ready to bread the chicken, preheat oven to 450 degrees and prepare the baking sheet by placing a cooling rack on it.
  4. Create the following assemble line: A shallow bowl containing the flour, a lightly beat eggs in the second shallow bowl, and the breadcrumbs in a third shallow bowl.
  5. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt to the bowls containing the flour and the one containing the breadcrumbs and mix well.
  6. Spray the cooling rack with the cooking spray.
  7. Coat each nugget in flour, shaking off any excess.
  8. Dip the chicken in the egg and let excess drip off.
  9. Then roll in the breadcrumb mixture and place the nuggets on the prepared rack.
  10. Bake the tenders for 18 to 20 minutes depending on thickness of the chicken.
  11. Serve and enjoy!

Voila! we have a dinner that will satisfy anyone, including children. I hope to see you all tomorrow. Have an excellent night!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Chicken Marsala Friday!

Good afternoon fellow bloggers! We are going to have a fun day today. I hope you all enjoy mushrooms (yes, we are definitely making those today) and chicken. Chock those two items together with a little sauce and you have a wonderful chicken marsala. That is our agenda today. Are you all ready to get in the kitchen and have a little cooking fun? I sure am! Come on, let's go!

Chicken Marsala
You will need:

  • 2 skinless, boneless, chicken breasts
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup  olive or vegetable oil
  • 8 ounce container of mushroom, sliced and cleaned
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup sweet Marsala wine
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup sherry or dry white wine

You ready?

  1. Split each chicken breast through the middle to make 2 pieces.
  2. Place plastic wrap over them and pound each one flat using a meat tenderizer until they are about a quarter inch thick. 
  3. Season a good amount of salt and pepper on both sides of each piece. 
  4. Place some flour on a plate and and dredge each piece of chicken in it.
  5. Heat the oil over medium-high heat and when the oil is hot fry each piece of chicken for 3 to 4 minutes on each side until they are golden brown (this may require you to do this in 2 batches).
  6. Remove chicken and place them on your serving platter covering them with foil.
  7. Reduce the heat to medium and add butter and mushrooms. 
  8. Saute mushrooms for 4 to 5 minutes making sure to season them with salt and pepper lightly. 
  9. Add marsala wine, sherry, and chicken stock allowing the liquid to reduce slightly – approximately 3 minutes. 
  10. Pour mushrooms and sauce over chicken and serve. 

Tada! You have a fantastic dinner to serve up to your mother this upcoming Mother's Day, or your boyfriend or whom-ever you so choose. Have a great evening and I will see you tomorrow! Good night!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

"Czech" This Out!

'Ello, 'ello, 'ello my fabulous bloggers! Today, we have a special treat. We are visiting a country we have yet to discover something wonderful from. I hope you all clued into where from the title of this blog entry. If not, it's Czechoslovakia. We have a wonderful comparison to the American dish: Chicken and Dumplings. But, this meal does not contain chicken. I will be schooling you on how to make dumplings along with the rest of the meal. So, grab that shopping list and let's go!

Veprova Pecene S Knedliky
(Roast Pork with Dumplings)

You will need:

(For the Roast)
  •  4 to 6 pounds pork loin
  •  Salt
  •  3 teaspoon caraway seeds
  •  1 teaspoon marjoram
  •  1 cup water
  •  1 cup stock or water
  •  2 tablespoons flour
(For the Dumplings)
  • 4 cups flour
  • Salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 5 slices stale white bread

Have we got everything? Excellent! Let's start with our dumplings.

  1. Combine flour and salt.
  2. Use a wooden spoon and little by little, beat in the milk and mix with water.
  3. Beat the egg yolks into the mixture.
  4. Keep beating until the dough is well mixed and pulls away from sides of bowl.
  5. Dice the bread and fold into the batter.
  6. Divide into 3 pieces and shape each like an oblong sausage.
  7. Heat plenty of salted water in a large deep pot.
  8. When the water boils, put in dumplings.
  9. Do not cover, but let the water simmer very gently.
  10. Cook for half an hour, then drain.
  11. Cut into slices with strong thread.

Now onto our actual roast...

  1. Score the fat with a sharp knife, rub with coarse salt, sprinkle with caraway seeds and marjoram.
  2. Put a cup of water in your roasting pan (pork doesn't need fat for roasting, only a little water).
  3. Put in pork and roast very slowly, in a 250 degrees oven until meat is tender (about 2 and 1/2  to 3 hours).
  4. Baste frequently to obtain a crisp, crackling fat on top.
  5. Thicken the pan gravy with flour, dilute with stock or water.
  6. Slice pork and pour gravy over.
  7. Garnish with Bread Dumplings.

And there we have a Czech recipe. I hope you all enjoy it. Share the culture and the love. Leave me some comments about what you would like to see, or what you already like from the blog. I hope to see you all tomorrow. Thanks for joining in. Love to you all!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Tacos Anyone?

Welcome to a late night edition of Everyday Meals. I'm your host, Mandie. Tonight, we are going to be making tacos. No, not browned meat tacos, but slow cooker tacos. I don't eat too many tacos, however, since I am in the South, they are a staple in most communities. I enjoy a really great barbacoa taco or bean and cheese taco. As a matter of fact, I'm not too picky when it comes to tacos. So, grab your slow cooker and let's get cooking!

Slow Cooker Shredded Beef Tacos

You will need:

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 pounds beef (boneless chuck roast)
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 2 Tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, minced
  • 1/2 large sweet onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • Flour tortillas
  • Favorite taco toppings

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. 
  2. Meanwhile, combine the chili powder, cumin, and smoked paprika in a small bowl.
  3. Rub the spice mix into the beef, covering each side evenly.
  4. Once the oil is hot (it will shimmer a bit in the skillet), place the beef in the skillet and sear on each side.
  5. Remove the beef from the skillet and place in the bottom of a slow cooker. 
  6. Leave the pan on the heat, and add in the beef stock to deglaze, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. 
  7. Add the tomato paste and minced chipotle and whisk into the pan sauce.
  8. Bring the sauce to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for a few minutes until the sauce has reduced and thickened slightly.
  9. Add the diced onion and minced garlic on top of the seared beef in the slow cooker. 
  10. Pour the pan sauce down over the onions, garlic, and beef. 
  11. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.
  12. Remove the beef from the slow cooker and shred with two forks. 
  13. Use a slotted spoon to remove the onions from the slow cooker, and mix into the shredded beef.
  14. Serve the beef in the flour tortillas, topped with your favorite taco toppings.
And we have tacos! I hope you enjoy them. I will see you tomorrow for another exciting dinner recipe. Keep sending in those requests and thank you for being loyal to E.M.E.F. You rock! Good night.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Yom Tov Tzimmes with Brisket

Good evening fellow bloggers! Welcome to a brand new edition of E.M.E.F. Today, I scoured high and low for an international meal that I thought you would all approve of. Well, we've covered the basics: Chinese, Mexican, American, and so forth. Today, I decided we are going to try Jewish food, or Hebrew. However you choose to say it. Our meal today is called "Yom Tov Tzimmes". It literally translates to "Good Day Meal". A tzimmes is is often part of the Rosh Hashanah meal, however, we will not be celebrating that today since it of course, is NOT Rosh Hashanah. In Hebrew, Jewish holidays and festivals, depending on their nature, may be called yom tov. A "Yom Tov" has similar obligations and restrictions to Shabbat, with the exception that you can cook, carry, and transfer fire (from a pre-existing flame). With that being said, let's get our grocery list and meet back in the kitchen shortly!

Yom Tov Tzimmes with Brisket
You will need:

  • 3 to 5 pounds brisket
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 3 cups hot water
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 4 or 5 carrots, cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 3 sweet potatoes, peeled,  cut into 2 inch chunks
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled, cut into 2 inch chunks
  • 8 ounces pitted prunes (about 2 dozen)
  • 5 ounces dried apricots (about 20 large apricots)
  • Cornstarch and cold water

Are you ready? Excellent!

  1. In a 6 quart Dutch oven with lid, heat oil over medium heat and brown the meat well, draining off excess grease.
  2. Combine water, juice, honey, brown sugar, cinnamon and ginger; pour over meat.
  3. Cover and bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat and simmer for about 1 and 1/2 hours.
  5. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  6. Arrange carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, prunes and apricots around the meat.
  7. Cover pot and place in hot oven.
  8. Bake for 1 and 1/2 hours.
  9. Uncover and bake for 1 to 2 hours more, or until the meat is fork tender.
  10. Remove the vegetables and fruit to a serving dish.
  11. Remove meat to a carving board and slice against the grain.
  12. If the sauce in the pan is too thin, combine a tablespoon of cornstarch and cold water and whisk it into the sauce to thicken.
  13. Simmer until it reaches the desired consistency, or about 15 minutes to cook the cornstarch.
  14. Serve sliced meat topped with sauce and surrounded by fruit and vegetables.

I hope you all enjoy this meal and leave some love if you'd like to see something else International. I live for ideas to share and new recipes to try. Thank you all for being such loyal readers! Have an amazing day!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Dinner Ideas Day 7

Good evening bloggers. I welcome you all to our final Easter dinner idea blog entry. Obviously, today is Easter and I want to wish you all a very happy day (or evening, since it is actually evening). I decided to go with a recipe that I think screams Easter. Back in the day of Jesus, everyone ate lamb or fish. This recipe is indeed fish. Salmon to be exact. Let's get started so we can enjoy our final meal for this week.

Roasted Salmon with Orange Butter Glaze

You will need:

  • 4 leeks trimmed of dark green stem, sliced in half lengthwise
  • 4 oranges
  • 1 whole salmon about 8 pounds, head and tail on, scaled, cleaned
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 red onion cut into 1/8 inch thick rounds
  • 6 sprigs fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 cup dry white wine

  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Strew bottom of 12 by 16 inch half-sheet pan with leeks and set aside.
  3. With a sharp knife, cut away the peel, pith, and outer membranes from 2 oranges.
  4. Slice orange flesh into 1/4 inch thick rounds and set aside.
  5. Rinse salmon under cold water, making sure cavity of fish is completely clean.
  6. Pat fish dry with paper towel.
  7. Cut 3 shallow slits through salmon’s skin, about 3 inches apart, on each side of fish.
  8. Season salmon cavity with salt and pepper.
  9. Stuff cavity with cilantro sprigs, reserved orange rounds, and onion rounds.
  10. Drape a large piece of cheesecloth over leeks in bottom of roasting pan.
  11. Place salmon on top of cheesecloth.
  12. Squeeze juice from remaining 2 oranges into small saucepan and place the pan over medium high heat, and bring juice to a boil.
  13. Add butter, and stir until melted then remove pan from heat.
  14. Brush salmon with the orange juice mixture.
  15. Place the roasting pan in oven, and roast salmon, basting every 10 minutes with orange juice mixture, until the skin is crispy and dark golden brown and meat is pink and firm to the touch, about 1 hour. If the head or tail of the fish becomes too dark, gently fold aluminum foil over them.
  16. Remove the pan from the oven and pour wine into pan to help loosen salmon.
  17. Using cheesecloth to help lift fish, carefully transfer to a serving platter.
  18. Gently remove the cheesecloth from under fish, and serve.

I hope you have all enjoyed your Easter, chocolate bunnies and Easter baskets chocked full of an amalgamation of candies. I will see you all tomorrow for an all new recipe! Good night everyone! 

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Easter Dinner Ideas Day 6

Good afternoon bloggers. I just wanted to post a quick blog before I begin my evening coloring Easter eggs with my best friend and sister, Jessica. I'm sticking with the original Easter meat idea and today we are working with lamb chops. Lamb is the most common Easter meat, dating back centuries. I hope you enjoy this meal. Here we go!

Lamb chops with Eggplant Caponata

You will need:

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 small eggplant, diced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary
  • 1 tomato, seeded and diced
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon capers
  • 1 tablespoon pine nuts, toasted
  • 12 to 16 lamb loin chops
  • Arugula, for garnish

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion and garlic; cook 3 minutes.
  3. Add the eggplant, season with salt and pepper and cook until the eggplant begins to soften, about 3 more minutes. Add the rosemary, tomato and vinegar and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.
  4. Remove from the heat and stir in the capers and pine nuts; set aside to cool slightly.
  5. Place a large skillet over high heat.
  6. Season the lamb chops with salt and pepper.
  7. Working in batches, place the lamb chops in the pan, fat-side down, and cook until the fat begins to render, 4 to 5 minutes.
  8. Turn the chops onto their sides and cook until crisp and brown, 4 to 5 minutes per side for medium-rare.
  9. Divide the eggplant caponata and lamb chops among plates and garnish with arugula.

Well, this was an easy meal. I will see you all tomorrow for our final and most delicious Easter meal. Have a fabulous evening and I will see you all tomorrow! Good night!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Easter Dinner Ideas Days 4 & 5

Good evening fellow bloggers. I'm very sorry about my disappearance. My internet decided it did not like us over here and it ran away. It's come back, but I'm not sure for how long... However, I will not babble long today. I have two (2) recipes to make up for the inconvenience. This is because I adore each and every one of you! So, here we go!

Apricot Filled Pork Tenderloin
 You will need:
  • 2 pork tenderloins (1 pound each)
  • 1 package (6 ounces) dried apricots
  • 1/3 cup sweet-and-sour salad dressing
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons teriyaki sauce
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 onion slice, separated into rings
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger root
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

  1. Make a lengthwise cut three quarters of the way through each tenderloin; pound to flatten evenly.
  2. Set aside three apricots for marinade.
  3. Stuff remaining apricots into pork to within 1/2 inch of ends and secure with toothpicks or kitchen string.
  4. In a blender, combine the remaining ingredients and reserved apricots.
  5. Cover and process until smooth.
  6. Set aside 1/3 cup.
  7. Pour the remaining marinade into a large resealable bag; add tenderloins.
  8. Seal bag and turn to coat.
  9. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, turning meat often.
  10. Drain and discard marinade.
  11. Place pork in a greased 13 x 9 baking dish.
  12. Drizzle with reserved marinade.
  13. Bake, uncovered, at 400 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 160 degrees.
Are you still there? Good. Here's the next recipe.
Roasted Lamb Shoulder with Mint-Caper Sauce

You will need:

  • 1 (4 pounds) lamb shoulder, bone in
  • 1 large bunch fresh rosemary
  • 2 head of garlic, cloves separated but unpeeled
  • Extra virgin olive oil, as needed
  • Coarse salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons capers, chopped
  • 1 large bunch mint leaves, stems removed, minced
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  1. Preheat the oven to 450 to 500 degrees. You want it very hot!
  2. Pour about 1/4 cup of olive oil into the bottom of a roasting pan.
  3. Lay down a bed of rosemary sprigs, about half of what you have.
  4. Sprinkle about half of your garlic cloves over top of the rosemary.
  5. Prepare the lamb by scoring the fat with a knife. You'll want to create a diamond pattern, scoring at 1" intervals in one direction, and then 1" intervals in the other.
  6. Rub lamb with about 2 tablespoons olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and rub into the lamb.
  7. Place lamb in roasting pan on top of the rosemary bed.
  8. Sprinkle the rest of your sprigs of rosemary and unpeeled garlic cloves on top of the lamb.
  9. Cover the lamb very tightly and place in your hot oven.
  10. Right after the lamb goes in, reduce your oven temperature to 325 degrees.
  11. Roast for four hours.
  12. Separate the meat from the bones and set aside. Keep warm.
  13. Pop the garlic cloves out of their skins into in a small bowl and mash with a fork. Set aside.
  14. Discard rosemary sprigs.
  15. To make the sauce, reserve about a tablespoon of fat in the bottom of the roasting pan, along with any lean pan juices.
  16. Stir in mashed garlic.
  17. Heat pan on medium heat until bubbling.
  18. Stir in flour until well mixed.
  19. Gradually whisk in chicken broth.
  20. Bring to a boil and allow to simmer about 5 minutes.
  21. Stir in mint, capers, and vinegar.
  22. Allow to come back to a boil and simmer about 30 seconds.
  23. Remove from heat.
  24. Serve with your Easter lamb.

 Pictured Above: Apricot Filled Pork Tenderloin
Pictured Above: Roasted Lamb Shoulder with Mint-Caper Sauce

And there you have 2 excellent traditional meat-based Easter dinners. I will see you all tomorrow (provided my internet is still around). Good night everyone!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Easter Dinner Ideas Day 3

Good afternoon bloggers! I welcome you to another Easter edition of Everyday Meals. We've done lamb and we've done other things for Easter dinner, but do you know which traditional meal we have not done? Take a wild guess... Yes! Ham! I enjoy a well cooked ham on many holidays, with this holiday being one of them. My preference in honey glazed, spiral cut ham. However, that is not what we are cooking today... No sir. We are doing things with a twist. We are actually getting into the ham and making it look pretty. Are you ready for your shopping list? Here it is:

Honey Butter Ham

You will need:

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • whole cloves
  • 3 to 5 pound half ham, fully cooked

See? That was once again, very simple to shop for.

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Melt butter in a small microwave-safe bowl.
  3. Stir in honey, brown sugar, and mustard until smooth and set aside.
  4. Place the ham in the roasting pan.
  5. Score the top surface of the ham in a diamond pattern, making the cuts about 3/4 inches apart.
  6. Push a whole clove, point side down, into the center of each diamond in the ham.
  7. Spoon half of the butter mixture over the ham.
  8. Roast, uncovered, for 20 minutes, then spoon over the rest of the butter mixture.
  9. Roast for another 20 minutes, then baste the ham with the pan drippings.
  10. Roast for another 25 to 35 minutes, or about 20 minutes per pound, until the ham is hot and glazed.
  11. Slice thinly to serve.

Okay, if you are anything like me, you are going to require one or two extra things in the kitchen to prepare this meal. A mother and a sister (or excellent brother if you're lucky). I don't cook unless one of those two are with me. Now, to finish this meal off, pair your ham with some mashed potatoes, asparagus, a pie of your choice and something to drink. You have an entire meal to enjoy (which is the purpose of this blog...). I will see you tomorrow for day 4 of Easter week. Good night!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Easter Dinner Ideas Day 2

Good afternoon fellow bloggers! Welcome to another wonderful Easter edition of Everyday Meals. We continue our quest to find your celebratory meal of choice for this upcoming holiday. I would like to share a passage from the Bible. I think of this quote when I think of lamb. (I know, it's an odd pairing). "The Passover lamb was to be eaten. Christ himself instituted the Lord's supper during the Passover meal that He shared with His disciples. In the Lord's supper we partake of Christ, the Lamb of our deliverance." (Exodus 12:8). With that being said, let's grab our grocery list, gather our items and begin this festive shin-dig!

Herbed Leg of Lamb

You will need:

  • 1 leg of lamb, about 5 pounds
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons dried leaf oregano, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • salt and pepper to taste

Are you still with me? Excellent!

  1. Cut deep slits in meat at 2-inch intervals. Combine crushed garlic, salt, oregano, and pepper.
  2. Press into the slits in meat.
  3. Place lamb on a rack, fat side up, in open roasting pan.
  4. Mix red wine and green onions and lemon juice, while reserving 1 cup of mixture for gravy.
  5. Brush lamb with a little of the remaining wine mixture.
  6. Brushing frequently with the wine mixture, roast at 325 degrees for about 30 minutes per pound, or until thermometer reads about 175 degrees for medium.
  7. Lift roast to a warm platter and make gravy.
  8. Pour juices into a measuring cup and skim off the top skin of the juices.
  9. Add water to juices to make 1 cup.
  10. Measure 2 tablespoons of the fat into the roasting pan, over medium low heat.
  11. Stir in flour, while scraping up the browned bits from bottom of pan.
  12. Add meat juices and reserved red wine mixture.
  13. Cook, stirring constantly, until hot and bubbly.
  14. Cook for 1 minute then season with salt and pepper to taste.
  15. Serve gravy with leg of lamb.

I know this recipe looks intimidating, but it's really one of those "set it and forget it" kind of meals. You let it cook all day and then enjoy the outcome in the end. Well, I'm about to wrap this thing up. I will see you all tomorrow for another delicious Easter recipe! Good night!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Easter Dinner Ideas (A Full Week)

Good afternoon fellow bloggers and welcome! This week, in honor of Easter, we are going to be gaining ideas of what to make for that fabulous family lunch, or dinner. We are going to start out with a brief explanation of what Easter is all about. Here we go!
The meaning of Easter is Jesus Christ's victory over death. Easter also represents our hope for eternal life. It's the story of Jesus' life, execution, and resurrection. To quote a dear friend and family member of mine, " His birth, life, and even sacrificial death would have meant nothing without His resurrection, which is the key to our salvation and faith." Yes, the real meaning of Easter has been misconstrued by brightly colored eggs, which in turn can be seen as the birth of Jesus. Chocolate and candy, however has no semblance what-so-ever. Well, with that being said we shall start this easy meal. Onward to our list!

Kosher Salt Encrusted Prime Rib 
You will need:

  • 2 cups coarse kosher salt
  • 4 pounds prime rib roast 
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper  
  • 1 tablespoon seasoning salt

Are you all still here? See, that wasn't such a bad shopping list!

  1. Preheat oven to 210 degrees.
  2. Cover the bottom of a roasting pan with a layer of kosher salt. 
  3. Place the roast, bone side down, on the salt. 
  4. Season the meat with the ground black pepper and seasoning salt, then cover completely with kosher salt. 
  5. Roast in preheated oven for 4 to 5 hours, or until the internal temperature of the meat reaches 145 degrees.
  6. Remove from oven and let rest for 30 minutes.
NOTE: Make sure to remove all of the salt from the roast before serving. 

And that was easy as 1, 2, 3! A delicious dinner, or lunch to celebrate this upcoming holiday with you and yours. I hope you enjoyed this simple meal and I will see you all tomorrow for more Easter dinner (or lunch) ideas! Good night!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Scrumptious Stir Fry

Good evening! Welcome, welcome, welcome to another wonderful edition of Everyday Meals. I am delighted to have you in the kitchen with me again. Well, to start things off on a good note, I love stir fry. It's so easy to make and the possibilities are endless. I enjoy a tasty stir fry with broccoli and green beans. I also like to soak it in Soy Sauce, but that is just a personal preference. Every one varies and that brings us to another topic: a lack of stir fry in our culture. Many people have not been introduced to a proper stir fry. I encourage you all to go google stir fry. Find it on wikipedia and take in the differences in how stir fry is made. We just so happen to be using the Chao technique. Once again, google it if you have no idea what I'm talking about. With that, let's go shopping and we will meet in the kitchen again. Break!

Salmon Stir Fry
You will need:

  • 4 cups cooked rice
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 pound salmon filets, cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 2 cups frozen vegetables
  • 2 teaspoons seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce

Great, now that we have everything, we can begin!
  1. Cook rice in water as directed on package to make 4 cups cooked rice.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil and sesame oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  3. Add the garlic and ginger to the skillet and heat, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.
  4. Add the salmon chunks and cook, stirring once for 2 to 3 minutes or until partially opaque.
  5. Cover the skillet and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, until the salmon is opaque and flakes easy with fork.
  6. Remove cover from skillet; stir in the frozen vegetables.
  7. Add the vinegar and soy sauce; stir well.
  8. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes longer or until sauce is slightly reduced.
  9. Serve immediately over cooked rice with a little drizzle of soy sauce.

Stir fries are an excellent meal for a hungry family. If you have children who are a bit finicky, pick out the vegetables and feed them just the salmon and the rice. It's secretly healthy (the salmon) and the rice will fill them up fast. Enjoy this meal and I will see you all tomorrow! Good night!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Mediterranean Madness!

Good evening my loyal bloggers! Welcome to Mediterranean day on E.M.E.F! I have to start out by saying that I have not personally tried this meal that we are about to make. I am an adventure seeker, and new things appeal to me. That is why I have chosen this recipe. It's new and unique and something we have not done before. So, grab that grocery list and let's break!

Mediterranean Shrimp with Bulgur

You will need:
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup uncooked bulgur wheat
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine or nonalcoholic wine
  • 2 cans (14.5 ounces each) diced tomatoes with basil, oregano and garlic, undrained
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon capers, drained
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 pound uncooked small (30 to 40 count) shrimp, peeled, de-veined
  • 1/2 cup crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese 

Now we can begin!

  1. In a 2 quart saucepan, heat water until boiling.
  2. Add bulgur and reduce heat to low.
  3. Cover and simmer for about 12 minutes or until water is absorbed.
  4. Meanwhile, in a 12 inch skillet, heat oil over medium heat.
  5. Add the onion and cook for about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender.
  6. Stir in wine; cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently.
  7. Stir tomatoes, 1 and 1/2 tablespoons of the parsley, the capers, black pepper and red pepper flakes into the pan with the onion.
  8. Cook for 3 minutes.
  9. Stir in the shrimp.
  10. Cover and cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until the shrimp are pink.
  11. Stir cooked bulgur into shrimp mixture.
  12. Sprinkle with cheese.
  13. Cover and cook for 2 minutes.
  14. Sprinkle with remaining 1 and 1/2 tablespoons parsley.
  15. Serve!

And we have another easy recipe from another country for you to enjoy! I will see you all soon. Have a great night!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Cheesy Enchiladas

Hola and welcome to another entry of E.M.E.F. Tonight we spice things up! We are going into Fiesta mode to celebrate Fiesta in San Antonio, TX. I lived there all of my life (however, I was born in Alaska). The majority of the food down there is TexMex or pure Spanish food. I am a lover of this variety of food, however, I cannot eat it often. I have acid reflux, but that does not deter me from making it for my friends and family to enjoy. So, to start off this celebration, we must do some shopping for our recipe. If you are all ready, let's head to the market and then meet back in the kitchen. Vamonos!

Cheesy Enchiladas

You will need:

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 and 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 teaspoons cumin powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon Mexican Spice Blend
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup frozen corn, thawed
  • 5 canned whole green chiles, seeded and coarsely chopped
  • 4 canned chipotle chiles, seeded and minced
  • 1 (28 ounces) can stewed tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon all-purpose flour
  • 16 corn tortillas
  • 1 and 1/2 cups enchilada sauce, canned
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar and Jack cheeses

Are you all in attendance still? Excellent!

  1. Coat large saute pan with oil. 
  2. Season chicken with salt and pepper. 
  3. Brown chicken over medium heat, allow 7 minutes each side or until no longer pink. 
  4. Sprinkle chicken with cumin, garlic powder and Mexican spices before turning. 
  5. Remove chicken to a platter, allow to cool.
  6. Saute onion and garlic in chicken drippings until tender. 
  7. Add corn and chiles and stir well to combine. 
  8. Add canned tomatoes, saute 1 minute.
  9. Pull chicken breasts apart by hand into shredded strips. 
  10. Add shredded chicken to saute pan, combine with vegetables. 
  11. Dust the mixture with flour to help set.
  12. Microwave tortillas on high for 30 seconds. This softens them and makes them more pliable. 
  13. Coat the bottom of two (13 by 9 inch) pans with a ladle of enchilada sauce. 
  14. Using a large shallow bowl, dip each tortilla in enchilada sauce to lightly coat. 
  15. Spoon 1/4 cup chicken mixture in each tortilla. 
  16. Fold over filling and place 8 enchiladas in each pan with seam side down. 
  17. Top with remaining enchilada sauce and cheese.
  18. Bake for 15 minutes in a preheated 350 degree oven until cheese melts. 
  19. Garnish with cilantro, scallion, sour cream and chopped tomatoes before serving. 
  20. Serve!

Well, I don't think I have much to say after this meal other than: Ooooh! Yummy! I'll see you all later and enjoy your enchiladas. Good night!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

A Home Made Trial Meal

Good afternoon fellow bloggers! I welcome you to a new entry of E.M.E.F. Today, we are doing something a little different. Last week, my sister and I were discussing making a new meal... we made that meal last night, and might I say, it was amazing! Of course, it was a pasta dish because pasta is something we love. We are Italian and pasta *must* be in our diets. Let me state that the portions of this meal will feed a full sized family of 5. You can of course stash leftovers and reheat in the microwave later if you would like. So, let's get on with this recipe. We hope you enjoy it!

Chicken Cordon Bleu Bake

You will need:

  • 1.5 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1/2 to 1 pound packaged ham
  • 2 pounds penne pasta
  • 1 can (10.75 ounces) cheddar cheese soup
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1.5 sticks butter (12 tablespoons)
  • 5 cups milk

Now that we have everything, we can begin!

  1. Pre-boil chicken and chop your ham.
  2. Once the chicken is boiled and safe to touch, chop it up as well.
  3. Mix the ham and chicken together, and divide the mixture into two (2) casserole dishes.
  4. Boil the pasta until al-dente.
  5. Now to make the roux: melt the butter in a heavy-bottom pan.
  6. Add the flour (all at once)
  7. Make sure that the flour and butter are thouroughly mixed and not chunky.
  8. Start adding your milk at a quarter cup each time, whisking constantly until it thickens a little.
  9. By the time all of the milk is added, your sauce should be thick and creamy.
  10. Add the cheese soup to your sauce and mix together.
  11. Spread your sauce between your casserole dishes.
  12. Split up the pasta between the dishes as well.
  13. Mix the contents of the dishes until evenly coated.
  14. Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes.
  15. Serve hot and enjoy!

This was one of our easier dishes to make, however, the prep was a little extensive. In the end, the prep time won't matter because this dish is amazing! You can add any seasonings you so choose, like salt and pepper if it doesn't have enough. Enjoy it and I will see you all tomorrow! Good night!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A Favorite from New England

Good afternoon fellow bloggers! Welcome to another edition of Everyday Meals. Let me start off by stating that I lived in New England for 2 years. Every Saint Patrick's day, or whenever we felt like it, we would make what is called a boiled dinner. It's the same thing you would have on Saint Patty's day, corned beef and cabbage (or potatoes). When you enjoy something so much, you don't limit it to just one day. Corned beef should be enjoyed yearly and in many different forms. I highly encourage this! So, instead of standing around and preaching on the goodness of corned beef, why don't we just call this meeting adjourned and meet back in the kitchen? Okay... Break!

New England Boiled Dinner

You will need:

  • 3 pounds corned beef brisket
  • 3 tablespoons pickling spices, 3 bay leaves and 5 black peppercorns (tied in a cheesecloth bag)
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 3 carrots, each cut into 4 pieces
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 2 parsnips, cut into chunks
  • 2 turnips, cut into chunks
  • 1 small cabbage, cut into wedges
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Hot sauce

Grocery list, check!

  1. In a large pot combine the meat, the spice bag and enough cold water to cover. 
  2. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 2 hours. 
  3. Add vegetables and salt and return to a simmer. 
  4. Continue to simmer until fork-tender, 30 minutes to 1 hour longer.
  5. For the Horseradish Cream: In a small bowl combine sour cream and horseradish and season, to taste, with salt, pepper and hot sauce.
  6. To finish, remove corned beef to a carving board and slice against the grain. 
  7. Transfer to a large, warmed, deep platter. 
  8. Drain broth and reserve for soup, if desired. 
  9. Arrange vegetables around meat and serve. 
  10. Pass the horseradish cream for guests to help themselves.

I know this dish sounded a little complex based off of its ingredients, but really as you can see, it's simple. You let it do it's thing and then you come back and enjoy it. Please, don't just cook this once a year or on a holiday. Share it with your family. This meal *should not* be missed out on. I'll see you all later! Have a great meal and a wonderful evening.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Here Fishy, Fishy, Fishy!

Good evening (very late evening) fellow bloggers! I know I come to you all late today, but I'm glad I showed up at all. As you all know, fish is universal. Most sea-bordering countries base most, if not all of their dishes on the fish that they catch. I, myself, love fish. I prefer fish over red meat any day. It's high in protein and very healthy for you (depending on how it's made). Well, we will not be making any fried fish today. We are going to be cooking our fish in the pan. Yes, us Southerners know how to make other things than fried goopy, artery clogging food. ^_^ Well, let's head on over to the kitchen, check our grocery list, and start this amazing meal!

Tilapia with Balsamic Browned Butter and Creamy Farfalle

You will need:

  • Salt
  • 1 pound farfalle, bow ties
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 5 slices center cut bacon, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 to 3 grated garlic cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 12 white mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 can San Marzano tomatoes
  • 4 (6 to 8 ounce) tilapia fillets
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 (10 ounce) box frozen peas
  • 1/4 cup mascarpone cheese
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup basil leaves, shredded or torn

Phew! What a grocery list! You haven't abandoned me yet, have you? Excellent.

  1. Heat a pot of water to a boil, salt the water and cook pasta to al-dente.
  2. Heat a deep large skillet with 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil over medium-high heat. 
  3. Add bacon and crisp 3 to 4 minutes. 
  4. Add onions, garlic, bay leaf and mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and cook until tender but not browned, 5 minutes. 
  5. Add tomatoes, crush them up with a wooden spoon and simmer 15 minutes on low heat.
  6. Season the fish with salt and pepper. Dust fish with flour and shake off excess.
  7. Heat 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Cook fish 4 minutes on each side.
  8. While fish cooks, stir peas into sauce, return to bubble and stir in mascarpone cheese. Adjust seasoning.
  9. Remove fish from skillet to a platter and cover loosely with foil to keep warm. 
  10. Reduce heat to medium and add butter to pan. 
  11. Brown butter, 2 to 3 minutes, stir in balsamic and simmer 1 to 2 minutes to reduce by half. 
  12. Pour the brown butter and vinegar over fish.
  13. Drain pasta, toss with sauce and wilt basil into pasta.
  14. Serve fish with pasta alongside.

What an excellent meal for any occasion! I love cooking with fish. It's adaptable and you can pair it with virtually anything you have in mind. Enjoy tonight's dinner and I will see you all tomorrow for another edition of E.M.E.F! Good night!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Everybody Loves Chicken

Good evening fellow bloggers! Welcome to another wonderful edition of E.M.E.F. Let's stat out by saying that a lot of people love chicken, especially when it's made well. Chicken is the most common type of poultry in the world. The modern chicken is a direct descendant of the Red junglefowl that was raised in the Indian subcontinant thousands of years ago. Chicken is low in fat and healthier than most red meats.This meal is very easy and feeds a large family. With that being said, I say let's grab our cooking pans and oven mits and start cooking!

Italian Chicken with Garlic and Lemon

You will need:

  • 15 chicken thighs
  • 8 large potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 1 quart vegetable oil for frying
  • 1/2 cup wine vinegar
  • 5 lemons, juiced
  • 10 cloves crushed garlic
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons dried parsley
  • 1 onion, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste

Are you ready?

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Arrange the chicken pieces in a 10x15 inch enameled roasting pan. 
  3. In a large skillet over medium high heat, fry the potatoes in 1/2 inch deep oil until golden brown, then put them in the pan with the chicken.
  4. Combine the vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, oregano, parsley, onion, salt and pepper with the 1/2 cup reserved frying oil and pour this mixture over the chicken and potatoes.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for 1 and 1/4 hours, basting the chicken and potatoes with the sauce mixture. 
  6. Let rest for 5 minutes and serve hot.

See? there was absolutely nothing hard about this dish, which is why it is a great reminder of what this blog is all about: Everyday Meals. Enjoy your chicken, your family, and your night. I will see you all tomorrow! Good night!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

A Sick Day

Hey bloggers. As you can tell from my title of this entry, we are indeed having a sick day. What do normal people have on sick days? Yes. Soup. I love ham and potatoes. This soup is just that. A creamy, ham and potato soup that will soothe any sore throat and easy any unhappy stomach. Considering how crummy I feel today, I think we will get on with the recipe.

Delicious Ham and Potato Soup

You will need:

  • 3 and 1/2 cups peeled and diced potatoes
  • 1/3 cup diced celery
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped onion
  • 3/4 cup diced cooked ham
  • 3 and 1/4 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons chicken bouillon granules
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground white or black pepper, or to taste
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk

Are we still all together?

  1. Combine the potatoes, celery, onion, ham and water in a stockpot. 
  2. Bring to a boil, then cook over medium heat until potatoes are tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. 
  3. Stir in the chicken bouillon, salt and pepper.
  4. In a separate saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Whisk in flour with a fork, and cook, stirring constantly until thick, about 1 minute. 
  5. Slowly stir in milk as not to allow lumps to form until all of the milk has been added. 
  6. Continue stirring over medium-low heat until thick, 4 to 5 minutes.
  7. Stir the milk mixture into the stockpot, and cook soup until heated through. 
  8. Serve immediately.

Soups are an easy alternative to standing over a hot stove and cooking. You just let them do their thing, boil, and ta-da! You have a super easy meal that will satisfy even the pickiest eater. I'll be back tomorrow for another entry of E.M.E.F. Good night everyone!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Pork... It's What's For Dinner!

Good morning (or good evening) to all of my fellow bloggers! I welcome you to another eventful entry in E.M.E.F. I'm sorry about my absence yesterday. It was a very busy day, as well as night. I hope that I can make that up to you all with a delicious Asian themed dinner recipe. If not, I hope you continue to join in and enjoy everything anyway. So, as I stated, this meal is Asian themed. I love a good Chinese recipe. As a matter of fact, if I could live off of Chinese food for the rest of my life, I probably would. That is how much I enjoy it. Well, enough about me. Why don't we get started?

Spicy Sweet and Sour Pork

You will need:

  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds
  • 1 pound pork tenderloin, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch, divided
  • 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce, divided
  • 1 (8-ounce) can pineapple chunks in juice, undrained
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 teaspoons Sriracha
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 cup pre-chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon bottled minced ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon bottled minced garlic
  • 1 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup slivered green onions

Has the list been checked off for all of the above ingredients? Perfect!

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Place almonds on a baking sheet; bake for 4 minutes or until toasted. Set aside.
  3. While almonds cook, combine pork, 1 tablespoon cornstarch, and 1 tablespoon soy sauce; toss well to coat. 
  4. Drain pineapple in a sieve over a bowl, reserving juice. Combine juice, remaining 1 tablespoon cornstarch, remaining 2 tablespoons soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, ketchup, and Sriracha, stirring with a whisk.
  5. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. 
  6. Add canola oil to pan, swirling the pan to coat. 
  7. Add the pork to the pan and sauté for 3 minutes, stirring frequently. 
  8. Add 1 cup onion, ginger, and garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Stir in pineapple and bell pepper and sauté 3 minutes, stirring frequently. 
  9. Stir in vinegar mixture and bring to a boil. 
  10. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. 
  11. Sprinkle with almonds and green onions.
  12. For the Coconut rice: Combine 1 cup uncooked basmati rice, 1 and 1/4 cups water, 1/2 cup light coconut milk, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. 
  13. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 16 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.
  14. Serve all together in a bowl and enjoy!

This is a hearty and mostly healthy meal, as most Asian inspired meals are. I hope you all have fun making this and I will see you all tomorrow! Good night!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Turkey Meatloaf? Oh Yes!

Good afternoon fellow bloggers! I come baring a twist on a traditional favorite. Can you guess what it is? No, it's not pizza. No, it's not burgers. Yes, it is meatloaf. In my household, we eat meatloaf like there's no tomorrow. We scarf until there's not even crumbs in the pan. That is how much we love our meatloaf. But, when you think meatloaf, you think ground beef and ketchup. There is none of that in this recipe. As I stated, it's a twist on  traditional meal. So, grab your bowls and aprons and let's get cooking!

Turkey Meatloaf with Feta and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

You will need:

  • Vegetable cooking spray
  • 1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup chopped garlic and herb-marinated sun-dried tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced, optional
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound ground turkey, preferably dark meat

Are you still with me? 

  1. Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Spray a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray.
  3. In a large bowl, stir together the bread crumbs, parsley, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic (if using), eggs, milk, feta, salt, and pepper. 
  4. Add the turkey and gently stir to combine, making sure to  be careful not to overwork the meat.
  5. Carefully pack the meat mixture into the prepared pan and bake until the internal temperature registers 165 degrees  on an instant-read thermometer, which should be about 45 minutes. 
  6. Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes. 
  7. Transfer to a cutting board and slice. 
  8. Serve!

Once again, this is a very simple meal for anyone to make. Tons of families across America make this daily. You all did a great job and I'm 100% positive that your family will enjoy it as much as mine. Have a wonderful afternoon and I will see you all tomorrow for another edition of E.M.E.F. 

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Skillet Delight

Good evening fellow bloggers! Welcome to another edition of E.M.E.F. Tonight, we will be exploring the possibilities of skillet dinners. I am a big lover of skillet dinners, as well as broccoli and vegetables. Tonight, we will be making just that: a skillet dinner. I hope you all have your skillets in hand and a big, empty kitchen because here we go!

You will need:

  • 1 jar roasted red bell peppers, drained 
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half 
  • 4 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 bag (20 ounces) refrigerated cooked diced potatoes with onions 
  • 1 lb boneless beef sirloin steak, cut into thin strips 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper 
  • 1 bag (12 ounces) frozen broccoli florets, thawed
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon leaves                                         

  1. In food processor or blender, place the roasted peppers and half-and-half. 
  2. Cover and process on medium-high speed for 30 seconds until smooth. Set aside.
  3. In deep 12-inch non-stick skillet, heat 2 teaspoons of the oil over medium-high heat. 
  4. Add potatoes, cover and cook 10 to 12 minutes, stirring frequently, until tender. 
  5. Remove from skillet and cover to keep warm.
  6. In the same skillet, heat the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil over medium-high heat. 
  7. Cook the beef in the oil, and add salt and pepper, for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring frequently, until beef is browned.
  8. Add the broccoli and potatoes. 
  9. Pour reserved red pepper sauce over mixture and gently toss to coat. 
  10. Reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered 2 to 3 minutes or until broccoli is crisp-tender. 
  11. Sprinkle with tarragon.
  12. Serve!

As you can see, this meal was simple and delicious too look at as well. I hope you all enjoy it and I will see you all tomorrow (provided my internet doesn't grow legs and run away again). Good night!

Skillet Delight

Good evening fellow bloggers. Welcome to a late edition of E.M.E.F. I'm sorry to post this so late, but around here our internet has a mind of it's own. Now, I am a lover of skillets and food that is made in a skillet. As a matter of fact, most of my food that I make is skillet-based. Tonight's recipe is exactly that! It's called Beef and Potato Skillet Dinner. It's chock full of vegetables and amazing juices. So, let's get a roll on this thing so we can all dig in!

Beef and Potato Skillet Dinner

You will need:

  • 1 jar roasted red bell peppers, drained
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half
  • 4 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 bag (20 ounces) refrigerated cooked diced potatoes with onions
  • 1 pound boneless beef sirloin steak, cut into thin strips
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 bag (12 ounces) frozen broccoli florets, thawed
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon leaves

Are we still all together? Good.

  1. In food processor or blender, place the roasted peppers and half-and-half. 
  2. Cover and process on medium-high speed for 30 seconds until smooth. Set aside.
  3. In deep 12-inch non-stick skillet, heat 2 teaspoons of the oil over medium-high heat. 
  4. Add potatoes, cover and cook 10 to 12 minutes, stirring frequently, until tender. 
  5. Remove from skillet and cover to keep warm.
  6. In the same skillet, heat the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil over medium-high heat. 
  7. Cook the beef in the oil, and add salt and pepper, for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring frequently, until beef is browned.
  8. Add the broccoli and potatoes. 
  9. Pour reserved red pepper sauce over mixture and gently toss to coat. 
  10. Reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered 2 to 3 minutes or until broccoli is crisp-tender. 
  11. Sprinkle with tarragon.
  12. Serve!

So, as you can all see, it's a very easy dinner that I'm sure you will all love. That's all for tonight, so I'll see you all tomorrow (provided my internet doesn't run away on me). Good night!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Cajun Spiced Fish Tacos

Good evening and welcome to Everyday Meals! I'm your recipe blogger, Mandie. Today, we are going to have fun with some fish tacos. Let's do a little background history on fish tacos, shall we? Fish tacos originated in Baja California in Mexico. They typically consisted of a fried or grilled fish encased in a taco shell, soft or hard, with lettuce, pico de gallo, sour cream or other sauces. To this day, fish tacos are most popular in California, Washington, and Colorado. They can locally be found at a street vendor's cart where they are sometimes sold. Still, other stories would claim that Ensenada, Mexico is the birth place of fish tacos. Either way, fish and tortillas go back along time. So, now that we know a little history, we can begin our recipe!

Cajun Spiced Fish Tacos

You will need:

  • 1 pound of white, flaky fish fillets such as tilapia, catfish, or halibut
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning spice blend
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup fat free sour cream
  • 1/4 cup light ranch salad dressing
  • 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups shredded green cabbage
  • 8 (6 inch) soft flour tortillas
  • 1 (8 ounces) jar mango chutney

Are we still all together? Excellent. Let's continue.

  1. Cut the fish fillets into 1 and 1/2 inch slices and place in a dish. 
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, Cajun seasoning, salt, and pepper. 
  3. Pour the marinade over the fish and let marinate for 20 minutes. 
  4. In a bowl, mix together the sour cream, light ranch salad dressing, vinegar, lime juice, cilantro, salt, and pepper. 
  5. Add the shredded cabbage and stir to combine. 
  6. Remove the fish from the marinade and grill on a preheated grill, pan sprayed with nonstick spray over medium-high heat. 
  7. Cook the fish for around 3 minutes on each side. 
  8. Remove from grill and set aside on a plate. 
  9. Heat the tortillas in the microwave for 30 seconds. Assemble the tacos by placing a few slices of fish on each tortilla. 
  10. Add a couple of spoonfuls of mango chutney on top of the fish. 
  11. Top with a pile of slaw and a few cilantro leaves. 
  12. Serve!

And there you have easy fish tacos that will leave anyone drooling for more. I hope you all enjoyed them and I will catch you all tomorrow! Good night!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Meals Your Little Chef can Make! Day 7

Good afternoon my little chefs and parents! I am so glad we got to spend the week together making new and inspiring meals. I hope your little chef has learned some valuable cooking skills and meals they can make now. On that note, we all know that children love pasta, whether it be mac and cheese or other kinds of pasta. We are going to end this week with a wonderful pasta dish that any kid and parent alike will love. So, let's grab our aprons and cooking dishes and let's begin!

Cheesy Stuffed Shells

You will need:

(For the tomato sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes (28 oz.)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar   
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
(For the Pasta)
  • 1 large bunch spinach (blanched, squeezed and drained well on a paper towel, then chopped)
  • 1 and 1/2 lbs. fresh ricotta
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan, grated
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Extra-large pasta shells, cooked and drained
  • Extra 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Do our amazing little chefs have everything? Excellent!

To make the tomato sauce:
  1. Have your child put the garlic, onion, tomatoes, sugar, basil, seasonings and balsamic vinegar into a large saucepan.
  2. Turn on the heat to medium.
  3. Allow it to simmer for 30 minutes or until the tomatoes have collapsed and the sauce has started to thicken.
  4. Let it cool down for a few minutes and with your child, (oven mits on) pour it into the base of a large baking dish.
To make the pasta:
  1. Little chefs, combine the spinach, Parmesan, parsley, dill, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper into a large bowl. 
  2. Mix well.
  3. Spoon mixture into pasta shells.
  4. Have your child place the filled shells into the baking dish of pasta sauce, side by side.
  5. Sprinkle with extra Parmesan cheese.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until cooked and golden.
  7. Serve!

And there we have a delicious meal that any pasta eating child would love. Since they helped make it, they will eat it over and over again. I hope you all enjoyed it. Thank you all for spending the week with me and I hope to see you all soon. Great job little chefs! Good night!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Meals Your Little Chef can Make! Day 6

Hello, hello all my awesome mini bloggers and parents! I've got a question for all of you. Who here knows who CowBella and the pajanimals are? Ooh! I see a hand. That's right. The pajanamals are a special 3-minute program on PBS that helps kids with transitional things like how to separate from mom at the end of the day, or sleeping through the night. It's a very cute program created by Jim Henson Company. Well, today when we look at our special meal that our special little helpers get to make, I'm sure they will recognize this lovable cow. Are we ready to get cooking? Fabulous!

CowBella's Elbow Pasta Italian-O

You will need:

  • 1 pound of whole-wheat elbow macaroni or pasta of your choice
  • One jar of your favorite pasta sauce
  • 1 yellow squash or 1 green zucchini
  • Italian seasoning
  • Parmesan cheese

Wonderful. Now let's begin!

  1. Parents, bring a pot of water to a boil to cook the wheat pasta.
  2. Have your child thinly slice or chop zucchini or squash, with a butter knife,  to use in sauce.
  3. Heat the pasta sauce on the stove and put zucchini or squash in sauce to cook for about 15 minutes, or until tender.
  4. When water is boiling, carefully hoist your child up and with them a safe distance from the pot, have them put the pasta in the pot.
  5. Stir occasionally.
  6. Once the pasta is done cooking, about 8 to 10 minutes, pour it into the strainer.
  7. Have your child help spoon the pasta into bowls.
  8. Pour the sauce over the pasta and finish it off with your choice of Italian seasoning or Parmesan cheese.

Now parents, this is the part where you watch your hungry little chef dig in. They will love this meal. At the same time, they won't know that it's a healthy choice to normal pasta and other meals. It's packed with nutrients and all that other healthy stuff that kids don't like (like vegetables). Enjoy your pasta and we will be back tomorrow for our final entry of Meals Your Little Chef can Make! Good night.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Meals Your Little Chef can Make! Day 5

Good evening fellow bloggers and mini bloggers! We have a special treat for all of your pre-school and younger elementary aged children. As you know, Barney has been around since I was a child (which is a good amount of time). I am guilty of being sucked into his loving, purple dinosaur-ness for ages. I'm sure that with the youngsters now a days, it's still the same. Barney was a favorite due to his songs and learning activities, as well as his other dinosaur friends: Baby Bop and B.J. Well, this meal is very Barney oriented. Stick around and you'll find out why!

Barney's Super Dee-Duper Dumplings

You will need:

  • 2 whole-wheat pie shells
  • 1 and 1/4 cup Peruvian purple potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 cup frozen mixed vegetables, thawed and drained
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 can (10 and 3/4 ounce) cream of chicken soup
  • 3/4 cup cooked chicken, shredded

(NOTE: You can find Peruvian Purple potatoes at your local Fresh Veggie market or at a Super Walmart possibly)

Are we still all together? Fabulous! Let's begin.

  1. Let pie dough come to room temperature.
  2. Help your child peel and prepare the purple potatoes just like regular potatoes.
  3. With a dull eating knife, allow your child to cut the potatoes into small cubes
  4. Cook them in a frying pan with 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and 1/4 cup water until soft, but not mushy.
  5. In a mixing bowl, mix together vegetables, cornstarch, cream of chicken soup, and cooked chicken to create the dumpling filling. You child can do this step with a big wooden spoon, of course.
  6. Spray the muffin cups with non-stick cooking spray, or use mini baking cups.
  7. Roll 1-inch balls with bits of pie crust and put one ball into each muffin cup.
  8. Have your child use their fingers to press the dough firmly into each muffin cups, so that it is about 1/4-inch thick, creating a little cup.
  9. Spoon 1 tablespoon of your filling into each dumpling cup.
  10. Cover loosely with foil so tops don’t get too well done.
  11. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
  12. Remove foil after the first 20 minutes of cooking. 
  13. They are finished when dough is slightly golden and firm.
  14. Cool and serve.  

As you can see, Barney's amazing purple color has been incorporated into a delicious family meal that any young child will love. I hope you all enjoy it. Wonderful job today little chefs! You are doing an amazing job cooking. Keep up the good work and I will see you all tomorrow!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Meals Your Little Chef can make! Day 4

Good evening fellow mini bloggers and parents! I'm sure every one of your children have started, or are currently learning about the solar system. It's chocked full of stars and constellations, moons, suns, and so much more. This dinner project will have them wanting to know more about the solar system while enjoying how it taste! The solar system is one of my favorite things to read about. The mysteries of deep space will forever continue to amuse me. I'm excited because this meal is called:

Solar System Pizza

You will need:

(For the Meatballs)
  • 1 pound lean ground meat (lamb, chicken or beef)
  • 3 slices of day-old bread, made into breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh mint or basil, chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
(For the Dough)
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1 packet dry yeast (8 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 4 cups bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
(For the Toppings)
  • Tomato sauce
  • Meatballs (for the planets)
  • 1 small mozzarella ball (for the sun)
  • Grated mozzarella (for the Milky Way/stars)
  • Kalamata olives, pits removed and sliced (for the moons)

Do you have everything? Great! Let's begin.

(To Make the Pizza)
  1. Parents and children, together, combine the warm water, yeast and honey.
  2. Cover and place in a warm place until it becomes foamy, about 10-20 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl add bread flour, salt and olive oil.
  4. Add the yeast mixture and have your child mix well, but please add a helping hand because this could be difficult.
  5. Turn the dough onto a floured board and knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.
  6. Allow to rest, covered in a warm place until the dough doubles in size, about 1 hour.
  7. Knead on a floured board and divide into 4 evenly sized balls.
  8. Roll each ball out to your desired thickness and place on greased oven or pizza trays.

(To Make the Meatballs)
  1. Have your kids combine all the meatball ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. With their tiny hands, mix thoroughly.
  3. Have them wet their hands and roll the mixture into balls, different sizes for different planets.
  4. Parents, add a little olive oil to a hot frying pan.
  5. Place balls into frying pan and cook on both sides, until cooked through to the center.
(For the Toppings)
  1. Have your child get creative here. Top the dough with fresh tomato sauce, meatballs for planets, olives for moons, a small mozzarella ball for the sun and grated mozzarella for the Milky Way/stars.
  2. Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit until the pizza base is golden.
  3. Serve!

And there you have another delicious recipe and learning experience wrapped into one. If your child isn't interested in the solar system now, they will be after this hands-on meal. I will see you all tomorrow. Fantastic job chefs!