Wednesday, August 20, 2014

BLT Quesadillas

The last 2 weeks have been crazy. School started so we have been trying to get back into the groove with that and I had multiple fall recipes to submit for a cookbook project I am a part of. It didn't leave much time to post any new recipes here *sigh* Luckily things are leveling out and I am back! 

I think we all have go-to meals items that we rely on during busy times, things we always have on hand. Around here you will always find tortillas. Flour, corn, whole wheat, store bough, locally made, big, small... you name it, we have them. The kid loves to make cheese crisps, Mr. B will put just about any kind of leftovers in them and they are perfect for making wraps for lunch when I am home alone. 

One of our favorite quick meals are quesadillas. You can pretty much put anything in them and they are delicious. Plus I hoard cheese, seriously... but that reveal is for another day. Anyway, last weekend while I was working on fall recipes I experienced the biggest craving for a BLT. Of course there was no bread in the casa and I was too busy (read lazy) to run to the store. Mother invention whispered in my ear and I slowly reached for the tortillas. I am not a big mayo fan so I like to use a tangy dressing on my BLTs instead. I was super happy that it tasted equally delicious on the quesadilla version. Feel free to omit the dressing or use mayo if that floats you boat!

Enjoy~

the new Mrs. B ❤️

BLT Quesadillas

Serves~ 8
Difficulty~ Easy
Prep time~ 10 minutes
Cook Time~ 20 minutes

Ingredients~

1 pound bacon
½ cup sour cream
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 large garlic clove mashed to a paste
½ tablespoon red wine vinegar
½ teaspoon sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
8 large flour tortillas
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 cup shredded lettuce
1 large tomato sliced thinly


Directions~

1.     Heat a large skillet over medium heat and cook bacon until desired crispness. Drain on a paper towel lined plate and set aside. Crumble into large pieces.

2.     In a small bowl mix together sour cream, mustard, garlic paste, vinegar and sugar. Salt and pepper to taste.

3.     Spread an even amount of dressing on each tortilla. Add an equal amount of cheese and bacon to each tortilla. Fold in half.

4.     Heat a separate large skillet or griddle over medium heat. Working in batches, add quesadillas to skillet and cook until golden brown. Flip quesadillas over and cook the other side. Remove from skillet.

5.     Carefully open quesadillas, add lettuce and tomato. Close and cut into thirds. Serve immediately.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Strawberry Peach Cobbler

Several weeks ago (which means quite awhile) Melissa over at the Front Porch Gourmet made two of my recipes then was kind enough to blog about them. I promised to return the favor. I am ashamed to admit that life got in the way, then I avoided the idea because I felt bad, then it wouldn't stop bugging me because I knew I was reneging on a promise... Everything must come full circle.

I perused her blog and found this simple, delicious cobbler recipe. My boys love cobbler. Strawberries have been on sale. In my head I thought, done! Now let's get this show on the road. Of course, once again life stepped in. Or in this case Back-to-School activities. 

3, 4, then 5 days passed and half my berries were pretty sad looking. Last night I knew it was all or nothing, these berries were on their last leg. I halved the original recipe, partly because I was short on berries partly because I was almost out of sugar. I added peaches, adjusted the recipe based on what I had and it was DELICIOUS! I actually ate it instead of dinner and again for breakfast...

Please take time to check out Melissa's other recipes. 

Enjoy~

the new Mrs. B ❤️

Strawberry Peach Cobbler



Serves~ 6
Difficulty~ Easy
Prep time~ 10 minutes
Cook Time~ 45 minutes

Ingredients~


2 cups strawberries, quartered
1 cup peaches, roughly chopped
1 cup sugar, divided
6 tablespoons butter
½ cup flour
½ tablespoon baking powder
½ cup whole milk
½ teaspoon vanilla
¼ teaspoon salt

Directions~


1.     Preheat oven to 375 degree.

2.     Put strawberries, peaches and ½ cup sugar in a medium bowl, let sit 30 minutes.

3.     Melt butter in a deep-dish pie pan or medium casserole dish.

4.     In a separate bowl mix remaining sugar, flour, baking powder and salt together. Add milk and vanilla; stir until just combined.

5.     Pour batter over melt butter; do not stir together. Pour fruit mixture over batter; do not stir together.

6.     Bake for 40-45 minutes until brown and bubbly.


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Southwest Bean and Orzo Salad

I have been a bit obsessed with orzo this summer. It has been showing up around the casa in soups, salads and various side dishes. I can't get enough, it's adorable and versatile. Looks like rice but it's pasta, sneaky little buggers masquerading around trying to fool good folks. 

I have been working on fall recipes all week for a group cookbook which means our actual meals have been haphazard. Believe it or not there are only so many rich, creamy, decadent meals we can eat without starting to feel a little icky. You know the feeling... stuffed to the gills, food coma, ready to burst kinda feeling!

Fall recipe development is fun but I can't ignore the produce we have on hand that needs to be used up. Last night I browsed through the fridge/pantry looking for items that were getting a tad dated, kind of like me lately... A little worn around the edges but still tasty, at least for now. 

This salad came together very quickly. Lots of fresh produce combined with a few basic pantry staples and dinner was created. I agonized over the dressing more than anything, probably tested 4 or 5 versions before I knew it needed to be super simple in order to showcase the other ingredients. Also about the chorizo, first off make sure that it is the cured kind (looks like pepperoni) and not the stuff you need to cook. I realize that it may not be readily available everywhere so you can leave it out or substitute another cured meat such as a spicy salami. I actually found it at my local Sprouts Farmers Market. You could also easily add other veggies depending on what you have available.

Enjoy~

the new Mrs. B ❤️

Southwest Bean and Orzo Salad


Serves~ 8
Difficulty~ Easy
Prep time~ 15 minutes
Cook Time~ 15 minutes

Ingredients~


1 cup uncooked orzo
2 ears fresh corn
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 can black bean, drained and rinsed
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered
1 jalapeno, finely diced
½ medium red onion, finely diced
½ yellow bell pepper, finely diced
5 ounces dried cured chorizo, cut in ½ inch pieces

For the dressing~


¼ cup fresh lime juice (about 4 limes)
¼ cup chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon honey
½ teaspoon chili powder
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Directions~


1.     Cook orzo al dente according to package directions. Drain pasta, toss with ½ tablespoon extra virgin olive oil. Set aside to cool.

2.     Heat a grill pan or skillet over medium high heat. Rub ears of corn with remaining ½ tablespoon oil. Grill 4-5 minutes, rotating ears to get a char on all sides. Cool and cut kernels from cob.

3.     In a large bowl whisk together ingredients for dressing. Add pasta, corn, beans, veggies and chorizo. Stir to coat evenly. Serve room temperature or chilled. Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container.

The following local vendors contributed to this recipe~

Monday, August 11, 2014

Buffalo Ranch Snack Mix

With Back-to-School in full swing and the rapidly approaching football season I have been working overtime on snack ideas. I was lucky enough to find Chex cereal marked down to $2 a box so naturally I am hoarding half a dozen boxes now. Snack mixes are one of our favorite fall munchies and I have an arsenal of different flavor combinations. 

We love hot & spicy at the casa, in fact the kid will eat ANYTHING so long as I douse it in buffalo sauce! This mix is a favorite because it is actually 2 different types tossed together. On one hand you get the spicy buffalo kick and then in the next second you get the cool, herby ranch flavor. Obviously you can make just one or the other, but the combination of both is out of this world!

Enjoy~

the new Mrs. B ❤️

Buffalo Ranch Snack Mix


Serves~
Difficulty~ Easy
Prep time~ 10 minutes
Cook Time~ 1 hour

Ingredients~


For the buffalo mix~


2 cups rice Chex cereal
2 cups corn Chex cereal
2 cups cheese crackers
4 tablespoons melted butter (½ stick)
¼ cup buffalo wing sauce (I use Frank’s Wing Sauce)
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

For the ranch mix~


2 cups rice Chex cereal
2 cups corn Chex cereal
2 cups small pretzel twists
4 tablespoons melted butter (½ stick)
1 packet buttermilk ranch seasoning (I used Hidden Valley Ranch)

Directions~


1.     Preheat over to 250 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper, set aside.

2.     In a medium bowl stir together butter, wing sauce, garlic powder, pepper and cayenne pepper. Add cereal and cheese crackers, toss to coat.

3.     In a separate medium bowl stir together butter and ranch seasoning. Add cereal and pretzels, toss to coat.


4.     Place each mix on a separate baking sheet. Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Cool completely then toss mixtures together. Store in an airtight container.

* Cooks note~ You can also prepare mixes in the microwave. Just make each batch in separate microwave-safe bowls. Microwave on high 5-6 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes. Spread on paper towels to cool. 

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Marshmallow Ice Cream Sundaes with S’more Brittle

Sometimes we do things just because. This was one of them. I had a recipe all set for National S'more Day but had a little feeling it wasn't the right one... so I made this. And everyone was happy. 

The End.

Enjoy!

the new Mrs. B ❤️

Marshmallow Ice Cream Sundaes with S’more Brittle


Serves~ 4
Difficulty~ Easy
Prep time~ 30 minutes
Freeze Time~ 1 hour

Ingredients~


For the ice cream~


1 cup heavy cream
4 egg yolks
¼ teaspoon salt
teaspoon vanilla
1 cup whole milk
1 cup marshmallow fluff

For the S’more brittle~



1 sleeve graham crackers (approximately 9), roughly crushed
4 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 Hershey bars or 4 ounces milk chocolate, broken into small pieces
1 cup mini marshmallows
¼ teaspoon kosher salt

Directions~


For the ice cream~ 


1.     In a medium bowl whisk together egg yolks, heavy cream, salt and vanilla. Set aside. Heat a medium saucepan over medium low heat. Add whole milk and marshmallow fluff; stir until fluff melts. While whisking egg mixture, carefully add a ladle of the warm milk to temper. Slowly whisk tempered egg mix into milk base. Cook on medium low 4-5 minutes until slightly thickened, whisking frequently.

2.     Chill base for at least 1 hour. Pour base into ice cream maker and freeze according to machine directions. Freeze 1 hour for a firmer consistency.

For the S’more brittle~


1.     Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

2.     Heat a large non-stick skillet over low heat. In a medium bowl melt butter and stir in brown sugar until dissolved. Add graham cracker pieces and toss to coat. Add to skillet and toast 3-4 minutes.

3.     Add chocolate pieces and cook 1 minute until slightly melted, stir continuously. Stir in marshmallows and remove from heat. Spread mixture on parchment lined baking sheet, sprinkle with kosher salt and cool completely. Break into large pieces. Store in an airtight container.

Assemble sundaes~


1.     Layer ice cream and brittle in bowls. Top with additional brittle.


Saturday, August 9, 2014

the Sloppy Giuseppe

When I am making a recipe I often ponder different variations, ways to mix up flavors on old recipes to make something new. Case in point sloppy joes. Joes are awesome, everyone knows that. The messier the better!

They are also super easy to adapt. I have spiced it up with a Mexican version, given them a southern twist with rich BBQ sauce and now we have Joe's Italian cousin, the Sloppy Giuseppe. This sammie has a rich tomato sauce, slightly sweet but balanced with a hint of balsamic vinegar and infused with herby goodness! 

Serve them on hearty buns topped with melted mozzarella for a quick, flavorful meal everyone will love!

Enjoy~ 

the new Mrs. B ❤️

the Sloppy Giuseppe


Makes 6 sandwiches
Difficulty~ Easy
Prep time~ 10 minutes
Cook Time~ 30 minutes

Ingredients~


1 pound ground beef
½ pound hot Italian sausage, uncased
1 small onion, diced
½ medium red bell pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons tomato paste
3 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1½ tablespoon dried Italian seasonings
¼ teaspoon red pepper flake
1½ cup tomato sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
8-10 basil leaves, chiffonade

Directions~


1.     Heat a large non-stick skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add ground beef and pork; break it up. Cook 3-4 minutes.

2.     Add onion, bell pepper and garlic. Cook 4-5 minutes.

3.     Stir in tomato paste, brown sugar, vinegar, Italian seasoning and red pepper flake. Cook 2-3 minutes.

4.     Mix in tomato sauce; scrape bits off bottom of the skillet. Salt and pepper to taste. When mixture starts to bubble reduce heat and simmer 10-15 minutes. Stir in basil and serve hot on buns.

The following local vendors contributed to this recipe~