Homemade Tomatillo Sauce

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What do you do when your parent’s give you a huge bag of tomatillos fresh from their garden?  Make homemade tomatillo sauce of course!  As I have been going through all my pictures and posts from 2013, I realized I never shared my homemade tomatillo sauce recipe or the recipe for tomatillo enchiladas. So, while this is a bit late and summery, I have to share it on this warm December afternoon.

Tomatillos

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound tomatillos
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 serrano chili, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • juice of 1 lime

Directions:

Remove the husks from the tomatillos and wash.  They have a sticky residue keeping the husk in place that can also hold in dirt, so make sure to clean throughly.

Tomatillos for a great sauce

In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, add all ingredients and bring to a boil.

Tomatillo sauce recipe

Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until tomatillos are soft, about 10-15 minutes.

Yummy tomatillo sauce

Using an immersion blender, puree until smooth.  This sauce can be used immediately or stored in the freezer in small batches to use later.

Great tomatillo sauce recipe

I love this sauce.  I is great just as a fresh salsa with chips or in tomatillo enchiladas. I love making larger batches and storing 2 cups in each ziplock bag to be able to use in the middle of winter.  A taste of summer in the dead of winter always makes you feel good.

Tomatillo sauce


Mealtime Monday: Prosciutto Wrapped Chicken

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Happy Monday!  Can you believe tomorrow is Christmas Eve!  I feel like this holiday season came and went way too fast.  We spent the weekend visiting my family for an early Christmas celebration and it was great.  This week I am sharing a recipe from Rachel Ray, Proscuitto wrapped stuffed chicken breasts.  This recipe it fairly easy and the result looks and tastes gourmet.

Prosciutto Wrapped Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup low fat ricotta
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 small clove minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried Basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried Thyme
  • 1 large skinless, boneless chicken breast
  • Olive Oil
  • 4 thin slices prosciutto
  • White wine
  • 1 tablespoon butter

Prosciutto Wrapped Chicken

Preheat oven to 400F.  I used one really large chicken breast and made it work for 2 servings.  First I took my pounding mallet and pounded the chicken breast so that it was thinner and larger.  Make sure to not go too thin, as you will still need to be able to butterfly the breast. Cut thinned breast in half across the middle, then use your knife to butterfly each half so that you can stuff it later.

Prosciutto Wrapped Chicken

In a bowl, season the ricotta with salt and pepper.

Prosciutto Wrapped Chicken

Add to the bowl your Parmesan cheese, garlic, parsley, basil and thyme. Stir to fully incorporate.

Prosciutto Wrapped Chicken

Place some of the ricotta mixture on each butterflied piece of chicken and fold the breast over.

Prosciutto Wrapped Chicken

Drizzle with olive oil.

Prosciutto Wrapped Chicken

Wrap each breast of chicken with prosciutto.  Heat your skillet with a tablespoon of olive oil. Add the chicken bundles and brown over medium-high heat, turning once, for 4-6 minutes.

Prosciutto Wrapped Chicken

Transfer to the oven to cook through, 12-15 minutes.

Prosciutto Wrapped Chicken

Remove the chicken from the pan and deglaze the pan with wine. Swirl in the butter.

Prosciutto Wrapped Chicken

Drizzle the sauce over the chicken and serve.  I made some easy garlic green beans as a side and they worked great alongside the chicken.  This is not the easiest weeknight meal, but a great one to impress guests or for a special occasion.

Prosciutto Wrapped Chicken


Mealtime Monday: Green Grilled Cheese

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Happy Mealtime Monday!  After taking a week off the blog I am back.  This time of the year is so busy with parties and birthdays for us, I can’t seem to find enough hours in the day to get it all done.  So this week I am sharing a really easy weeknight meal.  This is the green grilled cheese that I got inspired to make from here.  It is a great alternative for an “adult” grilled cheese sandwich, complete with pesto, avocado, spinach and mozzarella.

Pesto, spinach & avocado grilled cheese recipe

Ingredients:

  • Sliced sourdough bread
  • Butter
  • Fresh spinach leaves
  • Avocado
  • Pesto (click here for my homemade pesto recipe)
  • Sliced mozzarella cheese
  • Optional: Tomato soup

Adult grilled cheese

Once all the ingredients are prepped, like in the picture above, it is time to make the sandwiches.  Melt a small piece of butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Take one side of bread for each sandwich and slather with a generous amount of pesto.  Place it pesto side up in the pan.

Pesto grilled cheese

Add a layer of sliced mozzarella cheese on top of the pesto.

Pesto spinach grilled cheese

Next add a layer of spinach leaves.

Pesto and spinach grilled cheese

Top with sliced avocados.  I used half an avocado per sandwich.

Avocado, pesto and spinach grilled cheese

Then finish with a second layer of mozzarella cheese.

Yummy pesto grilled cheese

Lay the second piece of bread in top.  Cook until golden brown on the first side.

Pesto grilled cheese recipe

Flip, adding a bit more butter and brown the second side.  Now the bread is nice and crispy and the cheese is melty.

Pesto, spinach & avocado grilled cheese

Cut in half and serve.  I like to have my grilled cheese with a bowl of tomato soup.  Such a great winter meal and so easy.  Enjoy!

Pesto, spinach and avocado grilled cheese recipe


Mealtime Monday: Shredded Beef Enchiladas

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Happy Monday!  I hope everyone had a great time celebrating Thanksgiving with their loved ones. Alex & I are lucky to live close enough to both families that we get to celebrate the holiday twice, once on Thursday and the 2nd round on Saturday.  The meal I am sharing today is my Mom’s recipe for enchiladas.  They can be made from any kind of left over shredded meat, so it is a great way to use up some of that left over turkey.  This time around I opted for shredded beef enchiladas to use up some of the meat from my French Dip roast.

homemade shredded beef enchiladas recipe

Ingredients (serves 4):

  • 3 cans (15 ounce each) medium spice enchilada sauce (I use Las Palmas)
  • 1 can (7 ounces) diced green chilies (I use Ortega)
  • Grated cheddar cheese (approximately 2 cups, I grate as I go)
  • Shredded meat, can use beef, chicken or turkey (I use about 3-4 cups meat)
  • 10 corn tortillas
  • Cooking oil
  • Olives and sour cream to top

Directions:

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add you shredded meat.

shredded beef enchilada recipe

Add to the pan 2 cans of enchilada sauce and the can of diced green chilies.

beef enchiladas recipe

Simmer on medium heat for 10-15 minutes.

delicious beef enchiladas

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Open the 3rd can of enchilada sauce and pour a small amount into the bottom of your glass baking dish.

delicious enchiladas

Heat a small skillet over medium heat.  Add a splash of cooking oil to the pan.  Warm up the tortilla in the hot oil, flipping after 30 seconds.  Repeat until all tortillas are warmed and oily on both sides.  Make sure to not leave it in the pan for too long or it will get crispy.

homemade enchilada recipe

Set up your assembly line of tortillas, saucy meat, cheddar cheese and the baking dish.

making delicious beef enchiladas

Using a paper towel to keep your hand clean, load up the center of the tortilla with the saucy meat mixture and top with cheese.

delicious shredded beef enchiladas

Roll and place seam side down into the baking dish.  I like to roll it in the sauce of the baking dish as I place it down.

shredded beef enchiladas

enchiladas

Repeat with remaining tortillas, making sure to space out your meat and cheese so that all are approximately the same size.  They should be snugly lined up in your baking dish.

making delicious shredded beef enchiladas

Pour a nice drizzle of the remaining enchilada sauce over the top, but not so much that you drown them.

yummy shredded beef enchiladas

Top with a nice layer of shredded cheddar cheese.

homemade beef enchiladas recipe

Bake at 400 degrees for 25-40 minutes, or until browned and crisp.

shredded beef enchiladas recipe

Serve and enjoy!  I like to top mine with a generous dollop of sour cream and olives.  Such a great way to use up extra shredded meat and super delicious too.  Thanks Mom for teaching me this easy and delightful recipe for shredded beef enchiladas!

homemade shredded beef enchiladas recipe


Mealtime Monday: Crockpot Roast French Dip Sandwiches

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Here we go again with another Mealtime Monday.  Now that it is getting cold again, I love to pull out my crockpot for soups, stews and roasts.  One of our go-to crock pot meals is making a French Dip roast.  The meat simmers all day so it falls apart and is so juicy, making amazing French Dip Sandwiches with plenty left over for tacos, enchiladas or any other meal you can think of that uses shredded beef.

Simple Crockpot french dip recipe

Ingredients:

  • 4-5 lb beef roast
  • 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 5-6 peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 beef bouillon cube
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Swiss cheese (sliced)
  • French rolls

Making a roast for french dip sandwiches

Trim excess fat from the roast and place into the crockpot.  In a measuring cup, stir together soy sauce, peppercorns, garlic powder, rosemary, thyme, beef bouillon & bay leaf.

French dip roast recipe

Pour this mixture directly over your roast.  Fill the crockpot with water until the roast is nearly covered.

Slow cooker french dip roast recipe

Cook on low for 10-12 hours.

Slow cooker french dip roast

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Remove meat from the crockpot and shred.  Pile shredded meat onto your french roll.  Top with swiss cheese.

Melty french dip sandwiches

Bake for about 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

Melty french dip sandwich recipe

Serve with a dish of the au jus (the liquid from your crockpot) to dip your slow cooker french dip in.  Enjoy!

Amazing simple french dip recipes


Mealtime Monday: Lemon Garlic Chicken Thighs

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Happy Monday everyone!  We had a busy weekend here, busting out a bunch of projects around the house with the help of my parents.  We were able to paint the living room, hallway, dining room ceiling and master bedroom.  Plus fix the garage door and winterize the dog house partially. It was a whirlwind and I am exhausted!  This week I am sharing a simple recipe of lemon garlic chicken thighs made out of items we had on hand.  I did not follow a recipe for this one so you have to bear with me on a few vague measurements.

Baked lemon garlic chicken thighs recipe

Ingredients:

  • 6 Boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1-2 T butter
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • Parsley
  • Salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  In a glass baking dish, place you chicken thighs.  Pour lemon juice over the thighs.  Cut butter into small pieces and distribute throughout the baking dish.  Mince garlic over the chicken thighs.  Season with salt and pepper and top with fresh parsley.

Baked lemon garlic chicken thighs

Bake for 25-40 minutes, or until cooked through fully.  Serve and enjoy!  We have ours with foil packet steamed broccoli (recipe coming soon).  These thighs were delightfully juicy and very flavorful.  Definitely a a hit we will be making again!

Yummy Baked lemon garlic chicken thighs


Mealtime Monday: Baked Asian Chicken Wings

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This mealtime monday is all about wings; crispy baked asian chicken wings.  I found the recipe a while back on Pinterest from Just a Taste and we finally got around to giving it a try.  I love chicken wings and 99% of the time we do buffalo wings with Frank’s Red Hot.  YUM!  So this was a nice change of pace.

Asian wings

Ingredients:

1 package Chicken Wings
1 T Vegetable Oil
1/4 cup Blackberry Jam
1/3 cup Hoisin Sauce
Chinese 5-spice or Asian spice blend*

*I am not a fan of Chinese 5-Spice because of the Anise in it, so I made my own blend of spices including a little 5-spice, ginger, garlic powder, chili  powder and sesame seeds. I did not measure, just kept adding a dash here and there until I thought it looked good.

Asian spice rub for wings

Starting off with this recipe, preheat your oven to 400º F.  Next wash and pat dry your chicken wings.

Baked asian wings

In a mixing bowl, combine the chicken wings, vegetable oil and your spice mixture. Stir to coat evenly.

Asian inspired wings

Space the wings out over an oven safe rack.  I used a baking sheet lined with foil under by cookie cooling grate.  It worked perfectly and the foil made clean up of the baking sheet easy.  The cookie grate took more work to get clean with the chicken cooked on it.

Asian spice rub wings

Bake for 45-50 minutes (or until fully cooked), rotating the pan halfway through.

Baked asian spiced wings

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the blackberry jam and hoisin sauce.

Sauce for asian style wings

Whisk together until fully melted and warm through.

Asian inspired wings sauce

Toss your crispy wings and the sauce together to evenly coat.

Asian wings being sauced

Serve immediately and enjoy!

Asian wings


Mealtime Monday: Pesto Sausage Flatbread Pizza

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Back again for another mealtime monday!  This week I am sharing a simple recipe that we like to bring in the mix from time to time.  Back when we lived in San Francisco, our favorite pizza was the pesto sausage from Amici’s.  Now that we can’t walk over and pick one up, we came up with an easy recipe for a pesto sausage flatbread pizza.

Pesto sausage flatbread pizza recipe

Ingredients:

Preheat oven to 400°.  Roll out your pizza dough on a greased baking sheet.  Pop into the oven and bake for 7 minutes.  By partially baking the dough before topping you will get a crisper crust.

Making pesto sausage flatbread pizza

Meanwhile, cook sausage in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

Sausage pesto homemade pizza

Remove pizza crust from the oven.  Spread a thin layer of homemade pesto over the entire surface.

Sausage pesto homemade flatbread

Top with cooked sausage and grated cheeses.

Pesto sausage flatbread pizza

Return to the oven and bake for an additional 7-9 minutes or until browned and crisp.

Homemade pesto sausage flatbread

Cut into pieces and serve.  So simple and delicious; a great weeknight meal!

Homemade pesto sausage flatbread pizza


Apricot Glazed Ham with Asparagus & Potatoes

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I know…I missed last week’s Mealtime Monday, but that is because I had a great weekend celebrating the marriage of two fantastic people in Carmel/Monterey. So, skipping a post seems acceptable :) Today I am sharing a recipe from Real Simple, an easy & delicious glazed ham dinner. I follow the recipe for the ham, but I have adapted the potatoes and asparagus recipe to be more like how my mom makes red potatoes.

Easy apricot glazed ham with potatoes & asaparagus

Ingredients (for 2 people with leftover ham):

1 Boneless Ham
3-4 Red Potatoes
10 Asparagus Stalks
1/4 Cup Apricot Preserve
2 T Olive Oil
2 T Dried Onion Flakes
1 T Powdered Garlic
1 t Dried Thyme
1 t Dried Rosemary
Salt
Pepper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°. Foil line a baking sheet and place your ham on it.  (The foil is going to be really necessary later when you add your preserves so they don’t bake directly to the pan.) Cook ham for 30 minutes to start warming through.

Glazed ham for dinner

Meanwhile chop up the red potatoes & asparagus and place into a large Ziploc bag.

Herb red potatoes and asparagus

Add to the bag olive oil, onion flakes, powdered garlic, thyme, rosemary salt & pepper.

Herb red potatoes & asparagus

Mix together to thoroughly coat.

Herbed potatoes and asparagus

Pour into a foil lined Pyrex baking dish.  Spread out into a thin layer and pop into the oven.

Oven baked herb potatoes and asparagus

Once the ham has cooked for 30 minutes, take out and cover with apricot preserves.

Easy apricot glazed ham weeknight meal

Pop it back into the over for 25 more minutes.

Easy apricot glazed ham

After 25 minutes are up, removed ham from the oven.  The preserves should have melted and turned into a great sticky coating.

Easy apricot glazed ham for dinner

Turn the oven up to 450° to brown the potatoes and asparagus.  This should only take 5 minutes or so and needs to be watched closely.  Remove and serve once desired crispness is achieved.

Herb potatoes and asparagus

Serve and enjoy!  Since we make this for only 2 people we end up with extra ham for breakfast, ham paninis or other ham meals.

Apricot glazed ham with potatoes & asaparagus


Mealtime Monday: Pesto Sliders

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Happy Monday!  For this week’s Mealtime Monday, I am sharing some great and simple tomato, Parmesan pesto sliders with a recipe from Cooking Light.  YUM!

Pesto parmesan sliders

Ingredients:

  • Ground beef
  • Tomatoes
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • Pesto (I like using homemade)
  • Slider Bun ( I used King’s Hawaiian rolls)
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Step 1: Start off with placing your raw ground beef into a bowl.  Season with salt and pepper an mix together.

Pesto sliders

Step 2: Roll meat into small balls.  I was using 1/2 a package of ground beef and wanted to make 6 sliders, so I simply divided my meat into 6 balls and the size worked out perfectly.

Cooking pesto sliders

Step 3: Flatten the balls to make slider meat patties.  Place into a skillet over medium-high heat.  Cook for about 3 minutes on each side or until desired done-ness.

Making sliders

Step 4:  Prepare rolls (aka cut in half).

Using hawaiian rolls for slider buns

Step 5: Slather on a nice dollop of pesto to the bottom of each bun.

Making pesto sliders

Step 6: Top with a slice of a nice juicy red tomato.

Pesto, parmesan, tomato sliders recipe

Step 7: Now top that with the meat patty and a couple slices of Parmesan cheese.

Pesto sliders for dinner

Step 8: Enjoy.  Great for dinner or as an appetizer for a get-together.

Pesto sliders recipe