March 23, 2016

Easy Crockpot Taco Pasta

This is also a recipe I love and added on pinterest but they changed the recipe and I struggle to find the original! Now, I'm adding it here so I never lose it again!

1 lb ground beef
1 cup beef broth
1 cup Water
1 (1oz) package Taco Seasoning
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1/4 cup white onion, diced
1 garlic cloves, minced
1 (8oz) packet of Old El Paso® Chile & Roasted Garlic Cooking Sauce (or favorite taco/enchilada sauce)
4 oz cream cheese, soften and cut into 1 inch pieces
3 cups Medium Sized Shell Noodles, Cooked
2 cups Cheddar Cheese, Shredded
Optional Toppings
Sour cream, salsa or shredded cheese

Cook ground beef over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until beef is thoroughly cooked and drain.
Place cooked beef, beef broth, water, taco seasoning, diced tomatoes, onion, garlic, Old El Paso® Chile & Roasted Garlic Cooking Sauce and cream cheese into a 5-6 quart slow cooker.  Stir until well combined.
Cover; cook on low heat setting 4-5 hours. When about 15 minutes are left, cook and drain pasta as directed on package. Uncover crockpot and stir in pasta and shredded cheese. Stir until well combined. Continue to cook, uncovered for 10-15 more minutes, or until cheese has melted.

Microwave Score: 4.5 the noodles start to get soggy if left too long in the sauce
Freezer Score: 4.5 freezes really well
Jake Score: Haven't made this for him yet
Overall Score: 4.5 the only real issue with this is in the ingredients. That sauce is really hard to find. And I have to find a different one, as such, the flavor is a little different each time.

Herb Crusted Chicken in Basil Cream Sauce

This meal is one of those easy fancy meals that reheats really well. I pull this out when I want to impress someone. It was the first meal I ever made for Jake. Yeah it's not a 15 min meal but you will not regret this at all. amazing flavor and the sauce goes with pretty much everything. actually this recipe turned me onto the main spice mix they use and I ALWAYS have a bottle of it in my pantry now and put it on everything I can.

2 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts; pounded thin
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup Progresso Garlic & Herb Bread Crumbs (Italian or plain are fine too)
2 teaspoons 'Perfect Pinch' Roasted Garlic and Bell Pepper Seasoning
1 teaspoon freeze dried chives
3 Tablespoons butter
3 cloves of garlic; minced
1/2 cup Chicken Broth
1/4 can of Italian diced tomatoes; drained and finely chopped
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese blend
2 Tablespoons freeze dried (or fresh) basil
dash of fresh ground black pepper

1.) Place bread crumbs, Roasted Garlic and Bell Pepper Seasoning and freeze dried chives in a shallow bowl; mix thoroughly.
2.) Place milk in a separate shallow bowl.In a skillet, heat butter on medium heat. Meanwhile, pound chicken flat and thin for even cooking (if you haven't done so already).
3.) Dip the chicken in the milk, then coat with crumb mixture.
Cook chicken in butter until browned and cooked through (about ten minutes). Remove and keep warm
4.) In the same skillet, add garlic and saute for approximately 1 minute.
5.) Add chicken broth and bring to a boil over medium heat. Stir occasionally to loosen browned parts from the pan.
6.) Stir in cream and tomatoes; bring to a boil and stir for one minute.
7.) Reduce heat to low; add Parmesan cheese, basil and a dash of pepper, stir sauce and cook until heated through and thickened. (about 5 minutes)
8.) Serve by pouring the sauce over the chicken. For added flair, serve the chicken and sauce over cooked pasta.

Microwave Score: 5.0 microwaved well. And doesn’t separate like some sauces do.
Freezer Score: haven't frozen it yet, but the sauce lasts a while in the fridge and the crumb mixture I will keep in the pantry
Jake Score: 5.0 He really likes this one, we make it with potatoes sometimes.
Overall Score: 5.0 I love this and could eat it everyday! The sauce is so flavorful and creamy and now I want to make it...

March 21, 2016

Easy Steak Sauce

Now that I am a married woman I have had a rekindled love for new recipes. I find that recipes are like clothes, after a while they get a little worn out and sometimes you just want something new to wear. Because of that I have a bunch of new recipes that I would love to share with you all! So this is officially my restart.
For Valentines Day we decided to stay in and make a nice dinner to celebrate. We decided on steak. Jake prefers to have sauces or gravy with his meat, so I set out to find a sauce to go with the steak. I found this recipe online and decided to give it a try. I have to say it was a success! We also have baked red potatoes to go with it and the sauce was great with the potatoes.
3 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil, Divided
1 Medium Onion, Chopped
4 Cloves Garlic, Chopped
1 Fresno Chile or Red Jalapeño, Seeded, Chopped (couldn’t find those so we just used a green jalapeno)
Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1 Tablespoon Tomato Paste
½ Cup Worcestershire Sauce (or soy sauce if needed)
½ Cup Red Wine Vinegar
¼ Cup (Packed) Dark Brown Sugar
2 Tablespoons Whole Grain Mustard (I just used yellow because we had that on hand. Still good!)
Few Dashes of Hot Sauce
Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, and chile; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until soft, about 5 minutes.
Add tomato paste to saucepan and cook, stirring, until beginning to darken, about 1 minute. Stir in Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, brown sugar, mustard, and hot sauce; simmer until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a blender and purée with ½ cup water until smooth. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a small bowl, if desired. Set sauce aside. (We didn’t strain it, but we have a really good blender so there weren’t any chunks really)
Steak sauce can be made 1 week ahead. Cover and chill

Microwave Score: 5.0 microwaved well. And didn’t separate like some sauces do.
Freezer Score: It says it would keep for a week in the fridge I don’t see why you can’t freeze it if you want.
Jake Score: 5.0 He mentions it at least once a week…
Overall Score: 5.0 I am not a fan of steak sauce but this had a great sweet and savory flavor, and it really wasn’t spicy despite the spicy ingredients.