Monday, July 30, 2012

Virgin Mint Mojito

Seriously this is the best summer drink ever!! It is so refreshing and it makes you want to come back for more. It is a perfect drink to serve when you are having a BBQ and want to switch it up a little from drinking normal soda.


I am usually not a huge fan of mint but the balance of mint and lime is just perfect!!


Ingredients
  • 5-7 limes, juiced
  • 1 Bottle of Ginger Ale (2 L)
  • 1 Bottle of Club Soda (2 L)
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint chopped
  • 1/4 cup sugar
Directions

Press limes and remove seeds from juice. 
Add the freshly chopped mint and press the mint in with the lime juice with a wooden spoon to release the mint flavors.
Add a bottle of Ginger Ale and Club Soda to the mix (some prefer 2 bottle of Ginger Ale or 2 bottles of Club Soda but I like to mix both!)
Add sugar and mix the drink together.
*Note serve immediately or the mint will begin to look unappealing and not very fresh.

Enjoy !!
-Christy



Friday, July 27, 2012

Sausage and Roasted Vegetables Penne Pasta

This sausage pasta is so light for a perfect summer meal. There is no thick sauce that is heavy, which makes this pasta very healthy. 

Ingredients

  • 1 sweet onion, cut into wedges
  • 1 medium zucchini, sliced 
  • 1 medium squash, sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, cheeks removed
  • 1/2 pound button mushrooms, stemmed
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 pint grape tomatoes, washed and dried
  • 2 sweet or hot Italian sausages, thinly sliced or casings removed
  • 1/4 cup white wine or white grape juice
  • 12 ounces whole-grain penne, cooked according to package instructions, 1/2 cup pasta water reserved
  • Freshly grated Parmesan, for garnish

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
In a bowl, toss all the vegetables, except the tomatoes, with 1 1/2 tablespoons oil. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Arrange on a baking sheet and roast, until caramelized, about 30 minutes, turning vegetables halfway through the cooking time.

In a small bowl, add the tomatoes and the remaining olive oil and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and add to the baking sheet, at the halfway point of cooking, to caramelize.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat, add the sausage and saute until cooked through.

Turn up the heat and deglaze with white wine.

Once the vegetables are cooked, cool slightly, then coarsely chop. Add the vegetables and any pan juices to the sausage in the skillet.

Toss in the cooked penne, adding reserved pasta water, if needed, to moisten. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and serve in bowls topped with Parmesan

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Skillet Penne Broccoli Chicken

This is one of my favourites, and I make it all the time. Every time I make it, Blake says, wow this is good, have you make this before?! Ummm yes, like every other week, but ok.

Tip: So I use a timer religiously for this recipe, and it always turns out perfect and the noodles are al dente just how I love them!

Ingredients:

  • 1 lbs chicken breast (sometimes I do it with tofu, or half chicken half tofu, and it's so good), diced up
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 Tbs butter, divided
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (more if you like spicy)
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 8 ounces of dry penne (about 2 1/2 cups)
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 bunch broccoli, no stems, only florets
  • 1-12 ounce jar roasted red peppers, rinsed and chopped (if I don't have this on hand, I broil a red pepper until the skin turns black, let it steam in a closed container, then peel off the skin)
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
Instructions:
  1. Cook chicken partially, 4 minutes, in 1 Tbs butter. Set aside.
  2. In a large skillet (I mean large) over medium high heat, melt 1 Tbs butter, onions, red pepper flakes, oregano, and 1/2 tsp salt. Cook for 5 minutes. Add garlic, fry for 15 seconds.
  3. Add dry penne, broth, and creams. Cover and bring to a boil-- 5 minutes.
  4. Reduce to medium-low heat, add broccoli and roasted red peppers/ Cover, simmer, and stir occasionally--8 minutes.
  5. Stir in the chicken, until cooked through, about 3 minutes.
  6. Stir in the last Tbs of butter, and parmesan cheese.
  7. Serve and ENJOY!!
I just love this dish.

Bon App├ętit!
Cathy

Monday, July 23, 2012

Momma B's Red Wine Vinaigrette

My mom is the queen of salads. She makes a salad with every meal, and they're always different. What's the big secret?! She changes up the dressing, and they keep forever in your fridge! I love this one because it is light and low on sugar.

Ingredients:
Yields: 3/4 cup dressing (a little more)

  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 cup canola oil (or vegetable oil)
  • 3 Tbs red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbs lemon juice
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp dry mustard

Combine them all in a jar, and pour over your favourite salad! 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Korean Beef Noodles


Post edit: I make this dish all the time!!!

My little brother will love me for this one. He served a 2 year mission for our church in South Korea, and has come home a changed man with regards to food. I mean, the kid used to hate mashed potatoes! I don't know how "authentic" this Korean dish is, but you HAVE to try it!

This is a new favourite for me with a nice mix of flavours and colourful vegetables. A little prep a few hours ahead of meal time if you choose to marinate the beef, but worth it!

Ingredients:
Time: 35 minutes total, prep work to do a few hours ahead of time.
Serves: 4

A. Marinade/soy sauce mixture (prepared ahead of time, a couple hours if you can)
***note: you will be marinating the meat in 2-3 Tbs of this only. Put the remainder of the marinade aside for later in the recipe.
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 3 Tbs sesame oil
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tbs apple cider vinegar
  • 12 ounce skirt steak or top sirloin, cut into 1/4 inch strips

B. Remainder of the dish
  • 1 5-6 ounce package of vermicelli  rice noodles (spinach flavoured is great if you can find it)
  • 4 Tbs sesame oil, divided
  • 1 yellow onion, cut into 1/4 inch wedges
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 8-10 ounces of mushrooms, sliced (cremini or shiitake, about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 cup matchstick carrots
  • 6 cups (about 10 ounces) of baby spinach

Directions:
  1. A few hours or the night before dinner, combine the soy sauce, 3 Tbs sesame oil, garlic, brown sugar, and apple cider vinegar in a bowl. Place the strips of beef in a ziploc bag, and marinade it in 2-3 Tbs of the soy sauce mixture. Preserve the rest in a small container.
  2. About 30 minutes before you want to eat, soak the vermicelli noodles in warm water for 5-10 minutes. Cut them up with kitchen shears.
  3. In a large nonstick skillet pan over medium high heart, heat 2 tsps of sesame oil. Add the onion and 1 tsp of salt, and stir fry for 2 minutes. Add the beef and marinade and stir fry until the meat is cooked to desired doneness. Transfer to a large serving bowl.
  4. Heat up 2 more tsps of sesame oil, add mushrooms and carrots, and stir fry for  3 minutes. Add the soaked noodles, 2 Tbs of the soy sauce mixture, and 1/3 cup water and cook for 3 minutes or until the noodles of just tender. Transfer into the serving bowl with the beef.
  5. Add the remaining 2 tsps of sesame oil. Add the spinach and the remainder of the reserved soy sauce mixture. Cook and stir for 1 minute until the spinach wilts. Add to the beef bowl and toss.
Bon Appetit!
Cathy


Monday, July 9, 2012

Chicken Pesto Pasta

I love chicken pesto, just love it! I heavily adapted this recipe from one that I found with amazing ratings, only I made it healthier (hard to believe, I know) and added more pesto!

Ingredients:

Serves 6-8
Time: less than 30 minutes!


  • 1 (16 ounce or 454 grams) package penne pasta (or any other pasta)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2-4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cut into thin strips or cubes
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3/4 cups half and half cream
  • 1/2 cup chicken bouillon
  • 1/2 cup pesto (recipe found here)
  • 3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese

Directions:
  1. Cook the pasta according to package directions (usually 8-10 minutes if it's penne)
  2. Melt butter and olive oil in a large pan over medium high heat. Add the chicken and garlic to the pan, and cook until almost cooked. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Reduce the heat, and add cream, chicken bouillon, pesto, and parmesan cheese. Cook until the  chicken is no longer pink.
  4. Add the cooked noodles, mix up, and serve with side vegetables (we did green beans this time, talk about a greeeen meal!)

Bon Appetit!
Cathy

Friday, July 6, 2012

Pesto

Gotta love pesto, especially when basil is growing all around during this coming season! This is a recipe that is good enough for a dish (maybe even two depending on what you're making). If you want to make a bigger batch, double, triple, heck quadruple the recipe and freeze the extra portions.


Ingredients:
Yields 1/2 cup pesto paste
  • 3/4 cup packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 3 Tbs grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 Tbs walnuts (or pine nuts)
  • 2 Tbs chopped fresh parsley (optional)
  1. All you gotta do is place all the ingredients in a blender and blend until it is a thick paste.

Chicken pesto recipe to follow in the near future (like THIS monday)!!

Bon Appetit!
Cathy









Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs

The worst is when you try and peel your hard boiled eggs and your chipping away at it for an hour--then you're missing half the egg, and the middle is too cooked, or runny.

SOLUTION!!!!

This method has saved my life...and it's as simple as: using a timer. I know, genius.

Instructions:

  • Place your eggs in a pot
  • Cover with water
  • Turn the stove on to HIGH
  • As soon as it boils, turn the stove OFF and set the timer to 13 minutes
  • Cover the pot, and let it sit (yes still on the hot but turned-off burner)
  • When the 13 minutes is up, dump out the hot water and cool the eggs down in cold water
  • You get perfect eggs, every time...and easy to peel!
Then you can make this egg salad for lunch!
You're very welcome!

Cathy

Monday, July 2, 2012

Guest Post: Enchilada Casserole

Our sister-in-law Dana made this one night and it was delicious. It is so quick and easy and so tasty! I was surprised at how much I really liked this dish. 


Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup margarine
  • 1 medium green pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 can (10 oz.) cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 can (10 oz.) cream of chicken soup
  • 1 can (10 oz.) Rotel Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies
  • 2 cups cubed cooked chicken
  • 12 corn tortilla, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
Directions
Preheat oven to 325 degrees

In a large saucepan, cook pepper and onion in melted margarine until tender, about 5 minutes.

Add soups, Rotel and chicken, stirring until well blended. Then add the bite-sized tortilla pieces and the cheddar cheese into the mix as well.

Put mixture in a 9 x 13 baking pan and bake for 40 min. or until hot and bubbling.

Serves 6

Enjoy!!
-Christy