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Friday

Swiss-Italian Steak

Love this take on Swiss Steak. 


I needed to use up some of the "many peppers" my dad bagged up for me last
 time I was out at their place. In fact, the next recipe I'm gonna post uses peppers too, 
but that's ok, cause I love cooking with peppers. Not so much with green peppers, 
they're my least favorite, but pretty much all others.


The steak in this turned out fork tender and the sauce was rich with flavor and totally delicious. And I wanted to mention, the Fresno peppers didn't make this spicy at all so if you had a hankering for a little heat, don't seed one of them, or both of them. It's up to you.

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Swiss-Italian Steak

2 lbs bottom round steak, cut into 8 pieces
2 tbsp oil, plus
1/3 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp seasoning salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 large onion, cut in 1/2 and sliced
2 large red peppers )or peppers of choice), cut into 2” strips
2 fresno peppers, seeded, deveined and thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
Pinch of salt and pepper
1/4 cup red wine
1 28oz can whole tomatoes, broken up
1 14.5oz Italian stewed tomatoes
1 cup beef broth, low sodium
1 tbsp Worcestershire
1 tbsp Italian seasoning
1 large bay leaf

Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a Dutch oven.

Mix together flour, salts and pepper; rub into steaks on both sides. In 2 batches, brown steak on both sides using remaining tbsp. of oil for the second batch, and remove to a plate; set aside.

Add more oil to pan if necessary and sauté onion and peppers with a pinch of salt and pepper until softened; add garlic and stir. Deglaze pan with wine, stirring up bits from bottom; add tomatoes and remaining ingredients including steak. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 2 hours. Off-set the lid for the last hour of cooking time to help thicken sauce. Taste for seasoning adding salt and pepper, if desired.

Serve over brown rice, polenta or mashed potatoes.

Wednesday

Broccoli Cheese Soup

Broccoli Cheese Soup is at the top of my list for favorite soups.
Right along with homemade Chicken Noodle, Taco Soup and good ole Vegetable.


I enjoy the extra little kick this soup gets by using Mexican Velveeta.



Easy, fast and totally yummy!

Linked with Weekend Potluck and Foodie Friday.
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Broccoli Cheese Soup

2 tsp olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
2 bay leaves
3 cups chicken broth
16 oz frozen chopped broccoli
1 cup fresh broccoli florets
1 12 oz can evaporated milk
1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
3 tbsp water
16 oz Mexican Velveeta (or more if desired), cubed
1 carrot, grated

Heat oil in a large saucepan or small stockpot; add onions, pepper and bay leaf. Saute until vegetables start to soften. Add broth and broccoli; simmer until tender.

Make a slurry out of cornstarch and water (add more water if needed) and add to soup along with evaporated milk. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until thickened. Add cheese and grated carrot; stir until cheese is melted. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Monday

Chicken and Artichoke Lasagna

I can't tell you how amazing this smelled while it was cooking.
It turned out really good.


I've started making all my lasagna recipes with uncooked noodles. 
I just give them a little soak as I prepare the filling and sauce. As long as you have 
them completely covered with sauce while they cook, they turn out perfect, 
and you don't even need to buy the no-boil noodles. Just the regular ones will 
work fine. Seems to me they end up with more integrity as far as texture 
goes, that I like better. Plus, it saves you a step and one less pot to clean.


I know it's a little on the rich side, but I think it could be easily lightened up. I bet a 
person could even use fat free half and half, which I'll probably try next time I make it.



Linked with Weekend Potluck and Foodie Friday.

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Chicken and Artichoke Lasagna

9 dried lasagna noodles, plus 2 extra for filling in spaces if desired
2 cups chicken, cooked and shredded
15 oz. artichoke hearts, drained and rough chop
1 15 oz carton ricotta cheese
1 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese, divided use
1/2 cup snipped fresh basil, divided use
1 egg, beaten
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 1/4 cup vegetable or chicken broth
3 tbsp flour
1 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups half-and-half or light cream
Fresh nutmeg
2 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (4 oz.)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Place lasagna noodles in the same 9x13 baking dish you will use to bake the lasagna and cover with very hot/boiling water. Let sit while you put together the filling and sauce.

Stir together chicken, artichokes, ricotta cheese, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, 1/4 cup basil, egg, salt, and pepper.

For sauce, in a small bowl or glass measure, whisk together broth and flour. In a large saucepan, heat the tablespoon of oil over medium heat. Add the garlic; cook and stir until garlic is tender but not brown. Stir in flour mixture, half-and-half and a pinch of fresh nutmeg and salt. Cook and stir until mixture is thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat. Stir in the cream cheese and remaining 1/4 cup basil.

In a small bowl, combine mozzarella cheese and the remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese.

Remove lasagna noodles from water, empty and dry the dish.

To assemble, spread a thin layer of the sauce over the bottom (make sure to cover bottom) of an ungreased 9x13 baking dish. Layer three of the noodles in the dish, breaking apart an additional noodle to fill in empty space, if desired. Spread with 1/2 of the artichoke mixture and one-third of the remaining sauce. Sprinkle with 1/3 of the mozzarella mixture. Repeat with another layer of noodles, remaining artichoke mixture, 1/3 of remaining mozzarella mixture and another 1/3 of sauce. Top with remaining noodles and the rest of the sauce and remaining cheese. Make sure the noodles are completely covered with the sauce so they cook evenly.

Bake uncovered for 35 to 45 minutes or until edges are bubbly and top is lightly browned. Let stand for 15 minutes before serving. Makes 12 servings.

Tuesday

Baked Panko Crusted Jalapeno Poppers

I know there are lots of baked stuffed jalapeno recipes out there and most of them 
are really good. I mean, it's pretty hard to mess up cheese stuffed in jalapenos


Well, this is another one.

I really like the crunch and texture you get  from the topping, and my hubby said 
they're the best he's ever tasted. I thought, wow, and they're not even fried.

Fast, easy, lower in fat and super delicious.

Linked with Foodie Friends Friday, Foodie Friday and Weekend Potluck.
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Baked Panko Crusted Jalapeno Poppers

6 Jalapenos, cut in half and seeded
5 oz cream cheese, softened
1-2 slices of Peppered Bacon (regular bacon will work)
2 tbsp Italian seasoned bread crumbs
1 tbsp panko bread crumbs
1 tbsp parmesan cheese
Pinch of Salt and Pepper
2 tsp olive oil

Pre-heat oven to 400*.

Cook bacon in skillet until just crisp, remove to a paper towel lined plate and let drain. Chop into small pieces. I think I used about 1 1/2 slices.

Fill jalapeno halves with cream cheese.

In a small bowl mix together bread crumbs, panko, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Stir to combine then drizzle crumb mixture with oil and distribute through crumb mixture by rubbing crumbs together with fingertips. Mix in finely chopped bacon.

Cover tops of jalapenos with crumb mixture, pressing lightly and drizzle lightly with more olive oil if desired. Reduce oven to 375*  and cook for 15-20 minutes or until poppers are tender and top is crisp.

Monday

Butterscotch Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies



There's something about the combination of butterscotch and chocolate that I find scrumptious. 

Especially in a cookie. These are wonderful.


 I added oatmeal,,,, so now they're healthy. 
Enjoy :)

Linked with Weekend Potluck and Foodie Friday.

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Butterscotch Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

2 sticks butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 cup butterscotch chips
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup oatmeal

Pre-heat oven to 375*.

Cream butter and sugar; add eggs 1 at a time beating after each addition; beat in vanilla, scraping down sides of bowl to mix thoroughly.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, soda and powder. Turn mixer on low and slowly add in flour, mixing until just combined.

Stir in chips and oatmeal. Form dough into balls about the size of a golf ball and place 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet (I like to use a silpat). Bake for 10-12 minutes. Remove cookies to a wire rack to cool.

Thursday

Chicken and Quinoa Taco Salad

This was fabulous. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I really like quinoa. It is so good and the health benefits are huge. So are the different ways you can use it.


Worked perfectly in this taco salad.


Toasted pita chips taste great with it. So much better than chips. Just cut them into wedges; drizzle with olive oil; sprinkle with salt, pepper and oregano, and lay them out on a baking sheet. Bake in a pre-heated 400 degree oven for 12-14 minutes, turning over half way through.


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Chicken and Quinoa Taco Salad

1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup corn, fresh or frozen & thawed
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp adobo, if desired
Salt and Pepper
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved (plus more for topping)
1 cup quinoa, cooked*
1 15oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup chicken, cooked and shredded
Cheddar Cheese, grated
Green Onion
Fresh chopped parsley
Creamy Chipotle Salsa

Saute onion and corn in olive oil until it starts to brown; stir in chili powder, cumin, adobo, salt and pepper. Add tomatoes, cooked quinoa and beans. Remove from heat and mix in shredded chicken.

Serve chicken mixture on a bed of fresh greens, along with cheddar cheese, fresh tomatoes, green onion and parsley. Top with the Creamy Chipotle Salsa.

Creamy Chipotle Salsa

1/2 cup Pace Picante Sauce
1/2 cup fat free sour cream
1 tbsp ranch dressing mix (dry)
1/4 cup milk, or desired consistency
1/4 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chipotle in adobo (puree)
Juice of  1/2-1 lime, depending on juice rendered
Salt and Pepper, to taste

Stir all salsa ingredients together to blend.

*Rinse the quinoa if needed (some are pre-rinsed). I like to cook it in chicken broth, but water is fine. I think I used 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa and 1 cup chicken broth for this recipe. Follow package instructions.

Wednesday

Baked Buffalo Chicken Taquitos

I put these together the other night in about 10 minutes.

Rotisserie chicken is such a tasty shortcut.


If you're not a blue cheese fan, don't worry. I wouldn't leave it out though. 
I don't think it gives it a strong enough flavor that you would recognize what is is, but does add another layer of  deliciousness. 

Linked with Weekend Potluck and Foodie Friday.

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Baked Buffalo Chicken Taquitos

3 cups chicken, cooked and shredded
4 oz. mozzarella cheese, grated
4 oz. Philadelphia cream cheese, room temp.
4 oz. can chopped green chiles
1 1/2 - 2 tbsp Frank’s hot sauce
2 tbsp blue cheese dressing
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
Pinch of salt and pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
8-10 Soft flour tortillas

Spicy Blue Cheese Dip

4 tbsp blue cheese dressing
1 tbsp Franks’s Hot Sauce

Stir to combine.

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425*.

Mix all ingredients except chicken together until combined; stir in chicken.

Wrap soft shells in a kitchen towel and microwave until warm, 10 - 20 seconds.

Place filling down the middle of each tortilla, roll it up and place it on an oiled baking sheet. Brush the tops and sides of the taquitos with olive oil. Cook for 8 minutes; turn and cook for an additional 8 minutes or until golden brown and crispy.

Serve with Spicy Blue Cheese Dip.

Friday

Quinoa Artichoke and Tomato Salad

I've really been diggin on Quinoa lately. Sometime ago, I read about how good it was for you 
so I ran out and bought a box, put it in my cabinet, and it set there. And sat there,,,, and sat there. 
Don't ask why it took me so long to try it, but once I did, I was hooked.


This salad is a great quick fix for a delicious lunch,,,,and healthy too. You can eat it hot, room temperature or cold. I prefer room temperature, so any leftovers, I take the chill off in the microwave.

Linked with Addicted to Recipes: Scrumptious Sunday Link Party.
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Quinoa Artichoke and Tomato Salad

1 cup quinoa
2 cups chicken broth
1 8oz jar artichoke hearts, chopped
1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1/3 cup parmesan cheese, grated
2 tbsp fat free Italian dressing
1 tbsp mayonaisse or miracle whip
Fresh chopped parsley
Salt and Pepper

Stir together quinoa (rinse if needed) and broth. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer, cover and cook for 15-17 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and quinoa is tender.

Meanwhile, place artichokes, tomatoes and parmesan into a large bowl. In another smaller bowl, stir together dressing and mayo.

Add warm quinoa to vegetables and stir. Pour in dressing mixture and toss to coat. Taste for salt and pepper then serve with parsley and more parmesan and pepper on top, if desired.

Wednesday

Rosemary-Gruyere Buns

Awesome rolls make awesome sandwiches, right?


These are so worth a little extra time. 

The middle was soft and slightly chewy, loaded with flavor from the rosemary and cheese. 

It would be really easy to change up the flavor too.
I'm thinking thyme and fontina next time.


Love what finishing them with egg wash and extra cheese does to the tops.





I ended up using them for marinated steak sandwiches  that I served with a Peppadew Chipotle Cream Cheese Spread. It was such a simple sandwich but so delicious.

I marinated the steak (sirloin petite) with 1/2 can of beer, some Worcestershire sauce, lots of minced garlic, salt and pepper for about an hour. They were cooked to medium rare out on the grill, then sliced about 1/4 inch thick.


The spread was made by chopping up 3 peppadew peppers, which are my new favorite thing, and stirring them in some softened cream cheese with a little mayonnaise, Chipotle Puree, salt and pepper. I hate that I didn't write this down because I may or may not have used some lime juice but can't remember for sure, sorry.

Linked with Sunflower Supper Club: Weekend Potluck and Rattlebridge Farm: Foodie Friday.



Rosemary-Gruyere Buns

1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup butter, divided use
1/4 cup warm water (100-110 degrees)
1 tbsp sugar
1 (1/4oz.) package of active dry yeast
1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
2 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground pepper
3 large eggs, divided use
2 1/2 cups (10oz.) shredded Gruyere cheese, divided
5 to 5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Melt 1/4 cup butter in milk; let cool to 115*.

Combine water and next 2 ingredients and let stand for 5 minutes.

Beat milk mixture, rosemary, salt, pepper and 2 eggs at medium speed in an electric mixer until blended. Beat in 2 cups cheese and yeast mixture. Gradually beat in 5 cups flour. Beat at medium speed 3 minutes.

Turn dough out onto a floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic (about 5 minutes), adding remaining 1/2 cup flour as necessary to prevent sticking. Place dough in a well-greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place, free from drafts, about 1 hour, or until doubled in bulk.

Punch dough down; turn out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead 2 or 3 times. Divide dough into 18 equal portions. Shape each portion into a 2 ½ inch oval. Place rolls 1 ½ inches apart on lightly greased baking sheets. Cover and let rise in a warm place, free from drafts, 45 minutes or until doubled in bulk.

Preheat oven to 400*. Brush  remaining beaten egg over tops of rolls, sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Melt remaining 1/4 cup butter; brush over rolls.

Original recipe from Southern Living

Monday

Creme De Menthe Chip Ice Cream

Love homemade ice cream.


I know many people prefer the custard type base, which is delicious, but to me it's not THAT much better than this simple throw together version. 
This works for any flavor and I enjoy it about as much as the other, and without all the work.

You can use any combination of milk and cream that you want. I usually use a combination of regular milk and cream or half and half, but I needed to use up a carton of half and half before it expired. And then I was in the mood for it to be a bit rich, so I used cream instead of milk. What ever suits you will work, as long as you keep the amount of liquid the same.

Linked with Weekend Potluck and Foodie Friday.
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Crème De Menthe Chip Ice Cream

3 cups Half and Half
1 cup Heavy Cream
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 plus 1/8 tsp mint
1 cup crème de menthe chips

Add sugar and salt to milk and let sit 5-10 minutes, whisking occasionally, until sugar is dissolved. Stir in  cream and remaining ingredients, except chips.

Freeze according to manufacturers directions, adding chips 5 minutes before ice cream is frozen.

Friday

Panko Crusted Fish Tacos

I don't know about you, but I pretty much can't get enough of fish tacos.
I've think I've posted a couple of different versions already, but here's another.


I've done baked and fried, and now here is one kinda in the middle of the two.
It's breaded, but very lightly, and while it's fried, it's a shallow fry, 
which I think is somewhat 
healthier than a deep fry. Plus, it's olive oil, not vegetable or corn, 
and we all know that's better for you.


They ended up with the perfect crispy crust and weren't greasy at all.

To me, it doesn't matter as much how the fish is cooked, but the one thing that stays consistent is what I like on my fish taco.

It has to be a corn tortilla, the flour doesn't compare, and I have to have cabbage. 
I see fish tacos on a lot of menus where they serve them with lettuce. 
That is so totally wrong, I can't even fathom it. 
In fact, I won't order them that way. Ok....I'm done on that.
Oh, I almost forgot, I like to whisk together a vinaigrette for the cabbage. Just really simple 
(this is for apprx. 2 cups of slaw): 

Mix 1 tbsp red wine vinegar, pinch of salt, pepper and sugar (or squirt of honey), and a sprinkle of celery seed. Add the slaw and give it a stir and let it sit out on the counter until you need it. (Make it first.)

The other thing that's a must is my Creamy Chipotle Sauce
Love love love it and gotta have it. 

For the sauce: 1/4 cup mayonnaise, 
1/4 cup sour cream, 1/2-1 tsp of *chipotle puree, 
juice of 1 lime, salt and pepper. 

I've made this with all mayo, mostly mayo with some sour cream, more sour cream than mayo, it's really what ever combination you want or have on hand. 

*As for the chipotle puree, I always have a covered glass dish in the fridge with a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce that I puree up in my food processor. 
ALWAYS,,, I use it all the time.

Sometimes, but not all the time, I whip up a bowl of salsa fresca. Some chopped tomato, jalapeno, parsley or cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper. Very nice!


And last, but not least, and this is very important,,,,a squirt of lime juice. The End!

Linked with Foodie Friday and Weekend Potluck.

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Panko Crusted Fish Tacos

4-5 talapia fillets, or any white fish
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup panko bread crumbs
2 eggs
1 tsp chipotle puree
1 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp pepper

Heat up oil in a non-stick skillet.

Using 3 separate dishes, add panko with a pinch of cumin and salt to one ; whisk eggs and chipotle puree in the second; mix flour, salt, cumin and pepper in the third.

Cut talapia fillets into approx. 2 inches chunks. Coat with flour mixture, dip into egg, letting excess drain, then coat in panko crumbs. Place on a plate until you have several ready.

Place fish into hot oil making sure not to crowd and cook 2-3 minutes on each side, or until they have browned nicely and flake easily.

Remove from the skillet onto a plate lined with 2 paper towels.

Serve on warmed corn tortillas with toppings of your choice. I strongly suggest Slaw/Cabbage, Creamy Chipotle Sauce and a squirt of lime juice.




Wednesday

Turkey Sausage and Black Bean Casserole

I thawed out a big thick top sirloin steak to have for supper. 
And once again, it didn't thaw completely.

Does that ever happen to anyone else? 
I always think I've taken it out in plenty of time and sometimes it thaws and sometimes it doesn't. 
Well, if I'm not the only one, this is a perfect back up.


The ingredients are some that most of us always have on hand, or I do anyway. Keeping a package of smoked sausage in my fridge has saved my arse, more times than I can remember.

Super fast to throw together and cook. I think it would be good with some corn added too.

I "simply" served it, with a couple of warmed & rolled up tortilla shells, a dollop of fat free sour cream, fresh avocado and a few sliced cherry tomatoes. Delicious!


Linked with Sunflower Supper Club: Weekend Potluck and Rattlebridge Farm: Foodie Friday.
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Turkey Sausage and Black Bean Casserole

2 tsp Olive Oil, divided use
14 oz. Smoked Turkey Sausage, cut into bite sized pieces
1 onion, chopped
1 tsp cumin, rounded
3 cloves garlic, chopped
Pinch Red Pepper Flakes
1 cup Minute Rice
1 packet Sazon Goya – Con Culantro Y Achiote
1 cup low sodium chicken stock, vegetable stock or water
1 10 oz. can Rotel Tomatoes, Mild or Medium
1 15 oz. can Black Beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup Cheddar Cheese, grated, plus more for topping

Heat oven to 375*.

Brown sausage in a heated skillet with 1 tsp of olive oil; with a slotted spoon, remove to a bowl and reserve.

To the same skillet with 1 tsp more olive oil, onion and cumin; sauté for 3-5 minutes. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and continue to cook 2 minutes more. Remove from heat and stir in rice and Sazon packet. Pour into a large bowl.

To the bowl, add water, Rotel, black beans, reserved sausage and cheese. Pour into oil sprayed 9x13 baking dish, cover with tin foil and bake 20 minutes. Remove foil and sprinkle top with grated cheese. Continue baking 15-20 minutes more. Remove from oven and let rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Note:  If you don't have Sazon packets on hand (it just gives it that little bit of extra umph), you could basically just add a little coriander and a touch of salt.