December 17, 2014

Busy Weeknight American Goulash with Turkey & Whole Wheat Pasta


I'm still here and still cooking every day!  I've had quite a few things on my plate (pun intended!) this past month, so I've had zero time for blogging.  Correction.  Any time that I did have for blogging, I used to work on things like my daughters 10th birthday party, my dad's surprise 60th birthday party, Thanksgiving stuff, Christmas stuff, etc.  I'm definitely not complaining, though.  I have been blessed with so many people in my life that I love and cherish who also happen to take up a lot of my time!   

Withe everything that's been going on, I wanted to pause and share with you one of my easy & tasty recipes that I whip up on a crazy weeknight.  Now, I don't always use ground turkey, and I don't always use whole wheat pasta.  Sometimes, I'll use a beef/pork mixture with regular pasta; sometimes, I'll use cooked shredded chicken - it all depends on what I have on hand!  That's the beauty of this recipe.  Just toss in whatever you have!  For the tomato sauce, we used our homemade sauce from the garden tomatoes this year.  


November 20, 2014

Juicy Pork Tenderloin with White Wine & Shiitake Mushroom Pan Sauce


On average, we have pork tenderloin once every other week.  The secret to cooking the juiciest, most tender pork tenderloin is simple.  Sear it, roast it until it reaches 140 degrees, and rest it for 20 minutes covered.  While it's resting the juices redistribute throughout the pork, all while bringing the temperature to 145 degrees.  Marinating definitely helps, but if you don't have time to marinate it, that's fine!  It still turns out juicy and tender.  You can even purchase pork tenderloin already marinated for you.  If you've never cooked pork tenderloin with this method, you have to try it.  It seriously is the only way you'll ever want to cook your pork tenderloin again!  The white wine & mushroom sauce is seriously amazing.  I used shiitake mushrooms, but you can use any type of mushroom you'd like.  

Here are a few of my favorite marinades (guess I should go back and update some of those pictures!):

Notes:  As stated in the instructions, you can make the white wine & mushroom sauce thin or thick, depending on your preference.  We enjoy this sauce thick!  I also add pomegranate seeds as a garnish to brighten up the flavor.  If you don't have pomegranates lying around, simply give a little squeeze of orange juice or lemon juice over all instead.  

October 29, 2014

Caramel Apple Sangria


Sweet Honeycrisp apples, crisp sparkling apple cider, white wine, and caramel syrup join forces to create a fantastic festive libation!  Honey whiskey and vanilla bring out the flavor of the caramel, although the whiskey is optional (I used Jack Daniel's Tennessee Honey Whiskey).  Because the apple cider, caramel and apples are so sweet, I opted for a drier white wine, but you can really use any wine you'd like.  Finally, the caramel/sugar-coated rim sets these babies over the moon!  This really is a delicious, sweet drink that is sure to be a crowd-pleaser!  

October 25, 2014

15-Minute Shrimp Mei Fun


We've been pretty busy lately, so I've been making a lot of my quick and easy dinners.  Of all of my 15-minute meals, this one is my family's favorite.  It's better than anything you can get from Chinese take-out (or so my husband proclaims), and it is incredibly easy to make.  Mei fun simply means thin rice noodles, which you can find in the foreign section of your grocery store labeled rice vermicelli.  This mei fun is light and healthy, and has a beautiful, mild sauce.  I used frozen peas this time, but you can really use any vegetable combination you prefer... celery, broccoli, snow peas, asparagus, etc.  I'll never forget my little sous chef's reaction the first time I made this dish - she couldn't get enough of it!  Oh, reminisce with me little.  Four years ago... *sigh*  They grow up too quickly.  She looks pretty comfortable with those chopsticks, though!


October 14, 2014

Easy Pumpkin Cheesecake & Gingersnap Trifles


Happy National Dessert Day!  Treat yourself to these quick, easy, and delicious pumpkin cheesecake trifles with crushed gingersnaps.  They're so good, you might find yourself eating the whole thing like I did!


October 12, 2014

Homemade Cinnamon-Spiced Applesauce with Canning Instructions


One of my favorite things to do on a chilly fall day is make applesauce.  It's super easy, tastes better than any of that store-bought stuff you can buy, and it makes the house smell ahh-mazing while it's simmering!  For the best flavor, try to use a variety of apples that are good for cooking such as Fuji, Gala, Pippin, Jonathan, Gravenstein, Rome, Jonagold, Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, and McIntosh.  Honeycrisp apples are also very good (actually my favorite), but they are a little more on the watery side.  Whenever I use Honeycrisp apples, I reduce the amount of water to usually 3/4 cup.  The beauty of homemade applesauce is that it's very forgiving.  The natural sweetness of your apples will ultimately determine how much sugar you will want to use.  Always start out using less sugar than you think because you can always add more later.  If your applesauce is too sweet, add some lemon juice.  Try substituting the water for apple juice and even add a touch of pure vanilla extract for some more depth of flavor.

For making a larger quantity of applesauce for canning, see below.


October 11, 2014

Spaghetti Squash, Chicken & Broccoli Soup with Cinnamon


Nothing satisfies the soul on a cold autumn day quite like a warm bowl of homemade soup.  This is a delicious lightened up version of chicken and broccoli soup that is both hearty and healthy.  Instead of using pasta or rice, I added roasted spaghetti squash.  What really puts this over the top, though, is the delicate touch of cinnamon.  It really is a fantastic fall soup that will please even the pickiest of palates!  


October 3, 2014

Simple & Succulent Slow-Roasted Pulled Pork Barbecue


This recipe is so easy that I almost didn't share it, but it came at the perfect time, so here it is!  It was a very long day of work immediately followed by cleaning, running errands (piano lessons, groceries, etc.), helping my little sous chef with her homework (Everyday Math can be so frustrating)... all while being reminded that I hadn't fulfilled my promise to "play with me" yet.  At the end of the day, I thought to myself, "I sure am glad I put that pork in the oven at 6:00 this morning!"  It was dinnertime.  I yanked the pork out of the oven, pulled it apart, mixed in some barbecue sauce, and served it on buns.  Viola!  After a day like that, I'm thankful for an easy meal!  It's so tender and juicy... and with little-to-no effort on my part!  Time for wine.  Cheers!


October 1, 2014

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Pumpkin-Cream Cheese Glaze


It started a couple weeks ago while we were celebrating the wedding of some friends.  After a very touching, beautiful ceremony, we found ourselves enjoying cocktail hour with friends and family.  Mid-conversation, a tray of what looked to be martinis were presented to us.  Pumpkin martinis you say?  Sure, I'll try one.  One sip, ahhh - I was in heaven!  They were the most it was the most (okay, so I had two!) delicious pumpkin martini I have ever had!  I tend to not jump on the pumpkin train as quickly as everyone else does when autumn rolls around, but I am officially on board!  Choo choo!  

For my first pumpkin recipe of the season, I made these delectable pumpkin cinnamon rolls.  I decided to amp up the pumpkin and add it not only to the dough, but to the filling and the glaze.  Making cinnamon rolls from scratch may be time consuming, but these are so worth it in the end!  They are certainly a family favorite, and they don't last very long around here at all.  They are amazing warm, but I enjoy them the most when they are cold.  I indulged in two of these bad boys today, so please excuse me while I go do some crunches.  


September 25, 2014

Quick Beef Pot Pie (Meat Pie)


At the start of autumn, I always make one of my husband's top-ten favorite meals, beef pot pie.  (We call it meat pie here.)  I had planned to make it for dinner, but there was one little problem - my little sous chef came down with a cold and wasn't feeling well all day.  Thankfully, she had no school for the Jewish holiday, so she could rest.  However, I still had to work, which proved to be a little bit of a challenge.  One of the beautiful things about working out of home is that I can easily take frequent cuddle and playtime breaks throughout the day.  But when sickness strikes, the need for things like cuddling increases tenfold.  It ended up being a really busy, busy day for me.  Taking care of my little one, working, cleaning, trying not to stress out.  I look up at the clock.  *Gasp!*  It's already 4:45?!  Meat pie takes hours to make!  We've been looking forward to meat pie all day, so I decided to come up with a speedier version of it.  I gathered my ingredients and laid them all out on the table and got to work (while my daughter clung to my heels pleading for more couch cuddles).  The verdict?  Delicious!  It tastes like it's been cooking the entire day!  All said and done, including baking time, it was ready in under 1 hour.  Success!  It doesn't end there.  I stood up from the table after everyone paid me lovely compliments about dinner, and I thought about all that I had accomplished in one day.  I breathed a sigh of relief, turned away from the dinner table... and cleaned the kitchen.  Again.              

You might be interested in:  Crock Pot Beef Pot Pie
                                                 Stove-Top Beef Pot Pie

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