Austin Black Beans
Hey everyone! Only a week since my last SRC post thanks to May’s bonus week. This week is my “normal” group A post – but there is nothing normal about the blog I was partnered with. I’m very lucky in that I’ve had Leslie’s Cocina de Leslie blog twice so far, once as my regular assignment and once when I decided to adopt a blog while 38wks pregnant. Leslie’s blog has soooo many amazing recipes that when the powers that be offered to switch me for a “new” blog I told them there was NO NEED to be hasty – that I could happily and easily find something new to make. With that, this post was supposed to be all about her Mole Ranchero. While the ingredient list is a bit daunting, the dish came together in no time at all. However my camera man got a bit peckish and ate the sauce set aside for the photo as a post dinner snack. So…back to my very long list of recipes! I had marked her Austin Black Beans when I adopted Leslie’s blog so was thrilled that some nasty weather made it the perfect time to give them a whirl. I used the vegetable oil instead of lard and left out the lime juice due to my allergy. I also added the cilantro straight to my bowl as it tastes metallic to hubby and totally omitted below.
Another great recipe from Leslie! So glad there was an oops and that I got another excuse to explore her blog – think I have a good dozen recipes to try! This meal would also freeze well for the slow cooker, just add the 8 cups of water directly to the slow cooker along with all the ingredients. Instant dinner!!!
Happy May Reveal Day! This month I was once again partnered with Erin of Making Memories with My Kids for Group A of the Secret Recipe Club. Her blog is full of fantastic recipes and awesome science experiments – so lots of awesome things to look at. I was apparently craving carbs when I was checking out her blog as every recipe I flagged was hardcore sinful. Top of the list were (and are) her apple fritters but every time I got to the store I was unable to nab some Pink Ladies. Luckily I was able to find some awesome cheddar cheese allowing me to make her fantastic Cheese Sticks!!! These delicious treats are made using ingredients that I normally have on hand but decided to go the distance and get some really good cheese. I went for some Vermont Extra Sharp as well as some Vermont Mild White – which is why mine aren’t as vivid as Erin’s! I also added minced garlic in place of the garlic powder as I prefer the fresh stuff, no risk of vampires in this house!
Lesson learned on this: read the recipe all the way! My sticks weren’t nearly as pretty or evenly cooked as I missed the part about having a cookie press which is one of the few kitchen tools I don’t own. These disappeared pretty quickly here, with both of us enjoying these with dinner and then again for breakfast! I enjoyed them slightly warm and toasty while Joe was eating them however they were available. Needless to say another successful SRC recipe! I can’t wait to see what June has in store – but first there will be a bonus BBQ and Picnic SRC recipe at the end of the month.
Spaghetti with Skinny Green Onion Sauce
Welcome to a BONUS Secret Recipe Club posting – this time from Group C! The best part of posting with a different group is being able to explore blogs I wouldn’t otherwise be exposed to as I’m not the best at checking when other groups post. I was sent to Adina’s Where is My Spoon which is full of family friendly recipes. Since I only had a few hours to find a recipe I got straight to work to find a recipe that was already vegetarian as I knew I wouldn’t have the time to adjust it. Luckily a recent green onion series led me to a deliciously fantastic pasta – Spaghetti with Skinny Green Onion Sauce! I had to make a few adjustments as my store did not have any decent looking tomatoes but they did have some great looking mushrooms – so I subbed in a can of diced tomatoes. I also omitted the vegetable stock as I forgot to pick it up (oops).
This sauce was fantastic! It was creamy, tomatoey, and quick – which is key these days. As a bonus, it can easily become gluten free by switching out the pasta. To make things even quicker, I used some Gourmet Garden herb pastes that I had left from Fresh Tasty Valentine. I put this together after working my first post-baby convention and running on fumes. A few other recipes that I flagged for later are her broccoli cauliflower meatballs and her lentil quinoa carrot salad which sounds perfect for summertime.
Three Cheese Swiss Chard
Mac & Cheese
Sometimes it’s fun to be a bit indulgent, for example using three types of cheese to make mac & cheese. I try to keep my dairy intake to a reasonable amount as I’m slightly lactose intolerant but sometimes have to just take a lactaid and enjoy the cheesiness of life! In attempt to tease myself into thinking this dish is at all healthy, I added some swiss chard. Regardless, it’s all 52weeksofcookings fault as they were the ones who posted a Mac and Cheese challenge – so totally blaming them for all the calories in this dish!
This Mac&Cheese is so rich that we actually had leftovers for lunch the next day which is something that normally doesn’t happen. I warmed everything back up on the stove, adding just a bit of olive oil as this dish did not need more diary. Joe then topped his with Old Bay (shocker!) while I enjoyed mine as is.
Welcome to March’s Secret Recipe Club! It feels so awesome to be joining the SRC again after taking my baby break – I missed the fun that comes with being sent a blog to explore. This month I was given Sid’s Sea Palm Cooking, a blog I was very familiar with thanks to Facebook and previous SRC reveals. I had a very hard time picking a recipe this month as Sid’s blog is stuffed to the gills with all sorts of recipes including retro favorites and Danish treats. Two of the “finalists” were part of the Danish block: Baked Omelette and Cauliflower with Herbs. In the end I could not get past her Chicken Acapulco recipe and decided that I had to give it a whirl. I replaced the chicken with extra firm tofu and since I was unable to find the McCormick meat seasoning in the original recipe I made my own.
Fantastic! The spices and the cheese went together perfectly and by giving the tofu enough time to drain it was really able to soak up all the flavors. We enjoyed ours taco style for dinner and as a burrito bowl the next day with some Spanish style rice – adding some fresh avocado and green pepper each time. I had never heard of acapulco chicken (or tofu!) before finding this recipe but now it will be on regular rotation. It might require a number of bowls but it comes together super quick. For a real short cut, pick up some fresh made pico de gallo at the grocery store. Another great recipe thanks to the Secret Recipe Club!!!
Spring it starting to make it’s appearance, and with that soup season is slowly coming to an end. We had a chilly blast this past weekend so I decided to do up a batch of minestrone – which is about as simple as it gets. The ingredients are ones I almost always have on hand, if anything just have to buy the tomato juice. Which makes it perfect for the “it came from a can” challenge over that /52weeksofcooking. Instead of using frozen vegetables, just use a can of each: peas, corn, carrots, lima beans, etc – the point of this soup is to show that simple can be tasty.
Nothing like a dish that comes together in record time and only requires one pot. I know that some people aren’t a fan of cooking pasta in soups but I love how doing so gives the pasta some extra flavor. Plus the smaller pasta holds it shape better than the larger guys and don’t get as mushy. However, for those who want more of an al dente taste – cooking the pasta per instructions and then place in the bottom of a bowl before pouring the soup over top. For a real protein punch, add some garbanzo or great northern beans when adding the pasta or use lentils in place of the pasta.
Sundried Tomato Pesto
Greetings and welcome to day four of Fresh Tasty Valentine – the brainchild of always fabulous Cam of Culinary Adventures with Camilla. Today’s post features ingredients from two of our incredible sponsors: Gourmet Gardens and Bob’s Mill both of which have products you can win as part of the giveaway. The hemp seeds used in today’s recipe are easily the most unique product I’ve worked with in a long time and one that I was a bit nervous about due to my hops allergy. Hemp and Hops are cousins if you will and I’ve had skin reactions to hemp bracelets in the past, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to try a potential pine nut replacement. So I started by pouring a few seeds in my hand (no reaction) before trying a few and waiting an hour – no reaction! Plus they were just as nutty tasting as the reviews promised.
For a vegan twist, switch out the chunky garlic paste with three garlic cloves and then toss with your favorite vegan pasta. For another twist, use as a sauce for pizza topped with some roasted vegetables or a chunky dressing for a salad.
If you haven’t entered the giveaway yet – what are you waiting for?!? This meal totally fits the bill for quick and easy, can even prep the pesto earlier in the day (or the night before) for an even quicker meal. I’ve also had luck freezing pesto using ice cube trays, just pop out when frozen and store in a freezer bag until time to use them.
Note: I received these products for free as part of my participation in Fresh Tasty Valentine. However I was not required to write a review of the products and with that all opinions are my own.