Tag Archives: dinner recipe

Crockpot Chile Verde


When we go my favorite Mexican restaurant I look over and over the menu and always go back to my favorite Chile Verde Burrito. And I seriously can’t get enough of their salsa verde! So I decided it was time to try making it for myself.

I have no idea why I never tried this before. I’ve been making my own salsa verde for over a year now. All you have to do is add the salsa and some pork into your crockpot and boom! Deliciousness! It’s incredibly tender and full of flavor! As soon as Levi had his bite he just said “Wow! That is so good!” When I accomplish that statement it’s one of my favorite parts of life! He is still a relatively picky eater and so it’s so gratifying when he really enjoys trying something totally new!

There is just a little prep work. You can make the salsa ahead of time and store in your fridge until ready to use.

You can use the Chile Verde for a smothered burrito, enchilada topping or just eat it with some sides of rice and beans.

This version is a little more meaty than what I usually see. And it’s enough to feed 2 people for at least 3 meals. So it’s also a great idea for lunchtime meal prep. 

  • 10 Tomatillos
  • 1 Large Onion, quartered
  • 3 Jalepenos
  • 6 Cloves Garlic
  • 1/2 Lime, juiced
  • 1/2 Cup Cilantro
  • Salt
  • 5 lb Smithfield Pork Shoulder Seasoned Carnitas
  • Butter and oil
  • 7 oz Roasted and chopped Green Chiles

Preheat oven to 450.

On a large baking sheet spray with cooking spray. Place the Tomatillos, jalapeños, onions, and garlic cloves. Bake for 10 minutes, turn over and bake an additional 10 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes. Chop the tops off the jalapeños and add everything to a food processor. Add the lime juice, salt and cilantro. Blend completely.

Chop the pork into 1 inch cubes. Heat a pan to medium high. Add 2 Tbsp butter and 1 Tbsp oil. Quickly sear all sides of the meat, add more butter and oil as needed. I had to do this in about 5 batches.

Add meat, salsa verde and green chilis into your Crockpot. Cook for 4 hours on high or 8-10 hours in low.

Amazing Tilapia! 


I seriously sat here for about 10 minutes trying to figure out what to call this recipe. There are tons of Parmesan crusted or Lemon and herb tilapia recipes. Levi got us these gorgeous filets from Smiths today and I just kept thinking of delicious things to put on top! So here is a lemon herb Parmesan crusted tilapia. It is simply amazing! It was so flaky and tender, and flavor has so many different notes that it keeps it interesting with each bite.

If you’ve been following the blog lately you know that I’ve been trying to get rid of these tubs of Parmesan and Romano cheese that we got a few weeks ago. And they are almost gone…….hooray! But I am really loving some of the recipes they have inspired.


A year or so ago Levi and I tried to be a little healthy. So we ate fish this one time. Lol. Now we are on a health kick again and we have literally doubled that effort! Last week we had a nice little Halibut. It was pretty good, but after I tasted this tilapia today I knew I HAD to share the recipe!

Ingredients

  • 2 Tilpia filets
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 Cup Parmesan and Romano Cheese blend
  • 2 tsp Paprika
  • 2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 Tbsp Parsley
  • 1 Tbsp Basil
  • Pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 400.

Spray your cookie with cookie spray. Drizzle the oil and lemon juice over the filets. In a small bowl mix together all the other ingredients. Sprinkle each side of the filets with the mix and gently press in.

Bake for 10-12 minutes.

We’ve been enjoying some wild rice and asparagus with our fish.


Happy weekend everyone!

Chicken and Bacon Risotto


Does anyone else ever come home work, no idea what you’re going to make for dinner and somehow you end up throwing together a delicious Risotto? Anyone? Just me?

Hahaha. This was so random! All I had in the fridge was chicken and bacon and I was thinking about doing some sort of casserole and after I threw away 2 bags of rock hard marshmallows I found a ton of arborio rice. And there you go. Random Risotto. Oh yeah….and throw some peas and Parmesan in there just for the hell of it.

Risotto is usually a side dish but you can easily make it a meal with some extra protein. This dish has about 4 servings. Takes about 40 total minutes.

Ingredients:

  • 8 slices Bacon, cut into 1 inch squares
  • 2 Chicken Breasts, sliced and seasoned
  • 1 medium Onion, diced
  • 3 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 Cup Arborio Rice
  • 1 Cup White Wine
  • 4 Cups Chicken Stock
  • 1 1/2 Cup Frozen Peas
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan 

In a large skillet over medium heat, fry up the bacon pieces until they are just barely crispy. Remove the bacon and set aside, leave the grease in the pan. Cook the chicken and set aside with the bacon. Add the onion to the pan. Cook for about 2-3 minutes. Add the rice, cook until the onion is soft and clear and the rice is lightly browned. Add garlic and cook for one more minute.

Slowly add the wine, stir until it’s mostly absorbed into the rice. Add 1 cup of chicken stock and stir until mostly absorbed. Repeat with the remaining cups of chicken stock. When you are adding the last cup add the peas as well. Cook until fully absorbed. Remove from heat. Top with Parmesan and serve it up and enjoy!!

Chicken Pot Pie

There used to be this little bakery in Logan that would make amazing family sized pot pies. That place closed a long time ago, but every time I want a good comfort food I always remember that pot pie with it’s golden flaky crust and savory gravy with beautiful chicken and veggies.

I was really sick one day and Levi and one of our good friends wanted to make a pot pie. I was fascinated by the whole procedure, I had always thought it was so complicated and was scared to try it myself. I sat on a chair in the dining room wrapped in a blanket and watched the whole spectacle. Which turned out to be incredibly simple! That first time we used pre-made pie dough, since then we have journey into the world of homemade pie dough. I like to add some garlic salt to my dough to add another layer of flavor.

One of the best things about pot pie is that you can put in whatever veggies you like! You could spice it up with some bell peppers, or add some of your favorite spices. It’s quite the chameleon dish.

Here is our favorite recipe!

Ingredients:

  • 3 Chicken Breasts, cooked and diced
  • 2 Tbsp Grapeseed Oil
  • 2 Potatoes, diced
  • 1 Medium Onion, finely diced
  • 3 Carrots, diced
  • 2 Celery Stalks, sliced
  • 1 Cup Frozen Peas
  • 1 Cup Frozen Corn
  • 1/4 Cup Butter
  • 1/4 Cup Flour
  • 1 Tbsp Rosemary
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp Oregano
  • 1 tsp Dried Parsley
  • 3 Cups Chicken Broth, you can substitute in 1 cup of milk if desired
  • Optional: 1/2 Cup 3 Cheddar Cheese Blend
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Pie crusts, store bought or make your own here

In a large skillet heat the Oil over a medium temperature. Add the potatoes cook for 4-5 minutes until tender. Add the onions, carrots, celery, peas and corn. Cook for another 8-10 minutes until the onions are soft and opalescent, add chicken. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a medium sauce pan melt the butter. Add the garlic, Rosemary, Parsley and Oregano. Once the butter starts to turn a golden color whisk in the flour. Cook for 2 minutes whisking occasionally. Slowly whisk in the chicken stock. Bring to a boil whisking occasionally. Salt and Pepper to taste.

Preheat oven to 375.

Pour the sauce over the veggies and chicken. Let cool for 5 minutes.

Using a pie dish or a deep round baking dish line with pie dough. Spoon filling into the crust. Add cheese now if desired. Lay second pie crust over top. Trim and crimp the edges with a fork. Cut 6 vents in the top.

Bake for 30-45 minutes until crust is golden brown. Let cool for 10 minutes. 

Serve and enjoy!

 

Chicken Noodle Soup

When the weather outside is frightful sounds like a great time for soup!! One our favorite things to do during winter is watch a wonderful Christmas movie, snuggle with the dogs, and enjoy a nice hot bowl of soup and a grilled cheese sandwich.

There are just 2 movies that I watch every single year for Christmas. Whenever I wrap Christmas presents I always watch The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. I have been obsessed with this movie ever since I was a kid and I love the remake as well! My other Christmas obsession is Muppet Christmas Carol! I mean come on……does it get any more warm and fuzzy than Muppets telling a feel good tale?!?! I freaking love Muppets.

With feel good movies you need to have a feel good meal! Voila!

This soup is really flavorful and warms you right down to your toes! I especially love it with homemade noodles. Makes for a very hearty meal any soup lover will gobble down! 

Ingredients

  • 3 large Chicken Breasts
  • 1 large Onion, finely diced
  • 3 Carrots, diced
  • 4 stalks of Celery, sliced
  • 3 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp Grapeseed oil
  • 10 Cups Water
  • 7 Chicken Buillion Cubes
  • 3 Bay Leaves
  • 1/2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1/2 Cup Parsley, finely chopped
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Noodles

  • 2 1/2 Cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1/4 Cup Water
  • If you don’t want to make noodles you can buy egg noodles or a fun shaped pasta

In a large pot over medium heat add the Grapeseed oil and onion, carrots, garlic and celery. Season with salt and pepper and saute for about 5 minutes until the veggies are slightly softened. Add the water, buillion cubes, bay leaves, red pepper flakes, parsley, and whole  chicken breasts.

Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 45 minutes.

If you are making the homemade noodles you can use your counter top or a large mixing bowl. Combine all the ingredients and knead for 3-5 minutes until the dough becomes firm. You may need to add flour or water to get the right consistency. Not too sticky and not too dry and crumbly. Divide dough into 4 sections. You can either use a pasta rolling machine or a rolling pin on a floured surface. Roll the dough somewhere between 1/4 and 1/8 inch. Use a pizza cutter to cut noodles into your desired length.

Remove chicken and let cool a bit. Chop up the chicken into small bite size pieces. Return to pot. Add noodles. Cook for another 5 minutes until noodles are fully cooked. Salt and pepper to taste.

Serve up with crackers, crusty bread or a grilled cheese sandwhich!!

 

Cucumber Soup

Here is another recipe from my childhood. Honestly I can’t remember if I actually liked it then or not. Probably not because I was kind of a brat 🙂

But now I really enjoy this dish. My mom made a huge batch last year and gave us some. I was quite nervous if Levi would like it, and he really enjoyed it! We tried to make our own last winter, and it turned out ok. This summer we planted 3 cucumber plants. Boy was that a HUGE mistake! We will have enough cucumbers to feed most of the town! I have been giving them away left and right. And I still had 3 monster sized ones left, so it was time to make my own big batch of soup.

Levi had been feeling sick for a few days and this was going to be the perfect thing to soothe that sore throat! A nice bowl of soup, some homemade Parker House Rolls and a little salad really hit the spot. One of the other really great things about this soup is that you can eat it hot or cold! Perfect for any season.

I also wanted to share a little cucumber tip I learned from Levi’s mom this summer. If your cucumbers are a little bitter then there is a simple trick that removes that taste and brings out the crisp cool flavor. If you cut off the top inch or so of the cucumber and rub the 2 cut ends together for a few minutes and they will start to get a white foam. I usually just stop once the foaming subsides. Just wipe the foam off and there you go.

Ingredients:

  • 5 Medium Cucumbers or 3 Giant ones, peeled, seeded and diced.
  • 1 Medium White Onion, diced
  • 5 Tbsp Butter
  • 3 Tbsp Flour
  • 5 Cups Chicken Stock
  • 1Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 Tbsp Basil
  • 1 Tsp Paprika
  • 1 Tsp White Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Celery Salt
  • 1 Tsp Salt
  • 1 Cup Heavy Cream

For a topping I finely chopped some cucumber, onion and dill and it added a nice crunch and some extra flavor.

In a large pot saute the cucumber and onions with 2 Tbsp of butter. Cook until they are slightly browned and very soft. In a medium skillet melt 3 Tbsp of butter and add the flour. Whisk until combined and slightly browned. Slowly add 2 cups of chicken stock whisking continuously. Add to the vegetables and then add the seasonings. Cover and simmer over low-medium heat for 20 minutes.

Remove from heat. I used a hand held immersion blender, but you can also pour it into a regular blender to puree until completely smooth.

Move back to pan over medium heat, add the rest of the chicken stock and reheat to blend. Add lemon juice and cream. Stir and bring to a simmer.

Serve hot with garnish or cool down and serve with lemon slices as garnish.

 

Italian Basil Pasta Salad

If your looking for a super quick meal for a busy night look no further! This tasty dish is ready in 10 minutes or less. Who doesn’t love that? Plus, this one tastes good hot or cold so it’s great for a picnic, quick work lunch or a make ahead meal.

I’ve made this a few times, the first time was with my family in a cabin by a lake in Colorado. I made this one chilled and Levi and I enjoyed it lounging on a deck over looking the lake. It was a really spectacular view!

The second time was a late night dinner after a really long day at work. I had come home and took a nap that lasted a little longer than I had anticipated. I woke up once I got the “I’m on my way home” text! Oops! Lucky for me I had everything I needed to throw together the perfect little dinner.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag of Cheese Tortellini,  frozen
  • 1 cup Fresh Mozzarella, cubed
  • 1/2 cup Mini Pepperoni
  • 4 large Basil Leaves, chopped
  •  1/3 Cup Italian Dressing

Cook tortellini according to package directions. Drain.

Toss with all other ingredients. And enjoy!

And there you go! Easy right?!?!

Tortellini Alfredo with Chicken and Brocolli


Here is another super easy weeknight dinner! It’s true that I could spend hours in the kitchen everyday cooking dinner, but I would rather spend time hanging out with the puppies at the park!

I love watching Sven run around and try to figure out how to dog like other dogs. My favorite is when someone brings a dog that loves to play fetch, Sven just loves to chase the dogs and he doesn’t care about the ball at all. That boy just loves running.

So after doing chores and hanging out at the dog park for an hour, sometimes it’s nice to just have an easy meal to throw together.

But we also need variety! So here is a quick and tasty meal to help get you through the week!

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 Chicken Breasts, diced
  • 2 Tbsp Montreal Steak Seasoning
  • 1 Tbsp Grapeseed Oil
  • 1 Bag Frozen Cheese Tortellini (19 oz)
  • 2 Cups Broccoli florets
  • 2 Tbsp Butter
  • 2 Tbsp Flour
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 Cup Half n Half
  • 1/2 Cup Milk
  • 1 Cup Parmesean Cheese, grated
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Garnish with fresh chopped parsley or basil.

Heat a pan over medium heat. Cover the chicken in the seasoning mix, add oil to the pan, add chicken to the pan. Cook until the chicken is slightly browned, about 8-10 minutes. Set aside.

In a large pot, fill 3/4 with water and bring to a boil. Add tortellini and cook according to the package directions. When there is about 3 minutes left add the broccoli. When it’s done drain the water. Set aside.

In a large skillet or pot melt the butter over medium heat. Add the garlic and flour. Whisk until it starts to brown. Slowly add cream and milk while whisking continuously. Bring to a simmer whisking occasionally for about 2 minutes. Add Parmesan cheese. Sauce should be thick enough to coat a spoon. If it’s too thick for your taste add a few Tbsp of milk till you reach your desired consistency. Add salt and pepper.

Add the chicken, pasta and broccoli. Stir to coat. Top with your fresh herbs and enjoy!!!

Boeuf Bourguignon from Julia Child

So when I started this post I did not intend it to be our 100th post. But how fitting that it’s one of our few are far between fancy dinners. I can’t believe how many hours of prep and thought and work and typing have gone into this little hobby of mine. And it has been worth every penny and second. I love being able to share all this with you! Levi has been an amazing co-blogger and support system, always providing whatever little gadget my latest ambitions require. I’m sure you are not the biggest fan of everything I make, but thanks for eating it all with a smile on your face 🙂

The very first time that Levi and I decided that we were going to make a fancy meal was about 4 years ago. And where else would you go other than Julia Child?!? My parents just so happen to have The Art of Mastering French Cooking sitting on an end table for as long as I can remember.

So we borrowed the recipe and set to it! Unfortunately we didn’t have a pot that would work so we borrowed a cast iron Dutch oven. Well, that was certainly an interesting addition to the recipe and our sauce ended up being almost black, although it was still very tasty.

We decided to tackle this recipe again since I got an Emile Henrie pot for Christmas that had a picture of the dish and a variation of the recipe in a little booklet. Well we just couldn’t help our selves so we had to try again.

I really love the flavors in this dish. It’s basically a slow cooked beef stew made with bold red wine flavors which make it slightly tangy and rich. For my friends who aren’t into cooking with booze then just replace the wine with beef broth. Julia Child recommends serving this dish with mushrooms sautéed in butter and baby onions braised in beef stock. Neither of those options really appealed to us, but if that sounds good to you then go for it! You can serve this dish with mashed potatoes, rice or noodles. You can find our homemade noodle recipe here.

Ingredients:

  • 6 slices of bacon, cut into 1 inch squares
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 lbs stewing beef, cut into 2 inch chunks (I used rump roast)
  • 1-2 carrots, sliced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, and 2 tbsp flour mixed together
  • 3 cups of a full bodied red wine. We used Burgandy, but you can also use Chianti or Pinot Noir
  • 2-3 cups Beef Stock
  • 1 tbsp Tomato Paste
  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp Thyme
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • Fresh Parsley for garnish

Use a 9 or 10 inch dutch oven that can be used both on the stove top and in the oven. Over medium heat saute the bacon in oil for about 3 minutes to get it slightly brown. Remove the bacon pieces to a side dish, leave the fat in the pan. Dry the beef with paper towels, this will help ensure that the meat browns. Turn the heat up to medium high.

Take a few pieces of beef at a time and sear them on all sides in the bacon fat, until browned on each side. It’s important for the pan to be hot enough that the sear happens quickly without cooking the meat too much on the inside. Set the beef aside with the bacon.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In the same fat saute the vegetables until they are slightly browned. Drain the fat out of the pan. Return the beef and bacon to the pan. Sprinkle on some of the flour, salt and pepper mix. Toss to coat the beef, add some more flour mix, toss again. Continue until all the meat is lightly coated. Set the pan in the oven, uncovered, for about 4 minutes, toss the meat and leave in the oven for 4 more minutes. Remove the pan back to the stove top and turn the oven down to 325 degrees.

Add the wine to the pot, add enough beef stock to barely cover the meat. Stir in the tomato paste, garlic, and herbs. Bring the stew to a simmer stirring occasionally.  Cover the pot and return to the oven. Simmer and stir occasionally for 2.5 to 3 hours. Try piercing the meat with a fork, if it’s easily pierced then it’s done.

While the meat is cooking take time to prepare the noodles or potatoes or rice, mushrooms and onions. Once the stew is done remove the meat and vegetables, bring the sauce to a boil and skim the fat off the top. Reduce the sauce until it thickens.

Prepare the dish by adding your starch, then the meat and vegetables and top it off with the sauce. You can garnish it with some fresh parsley or basil.

 

In the words of Julia Child…”Bon apetit!!!”

 

Turkey and Rigatoni Casserole with Roasted Butternut Squash and Carrots. 

The ultimate Turkey Day is almost here!! YAY! I love Thanksgiving 🙂 Spending time making amazing food with the people you love…..what could be better? My family always makes this holiday a special time. Last year I got to go spend the day with my sister in New Mexico. We don’t get to see her this year, and my parents just barely started renovations on their house today!! Wow….that has been a long time coming.

So this year I may be hosting Thanksgiving at my place! That’s a first….how exciting 🙂 And in other good news Levi is doing an early Thanksgiving with his family so he will be here for the big day too….hooray! Throughout the years my parents have always been more than inviting to my friends who may not have somewhere to go….and for that, I am very thankful.

Well this dish would be an amazing way to use up some of those turkey leftovers. I especially love the mix of spices. With Rosemary and Thyme it just tastes like fall.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cooked turkey, cut into bite sized pieces.
  • 2  cup Butternut squash, diced
  • 1 cup Carrots, sliced
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Sage
  • 2 tsp Rosemary
  • 1 tsp Thyme
  • 2 clove Garlic, minced and divided
  • 8 oz Rigatoni, prepared as per package directions
  • 2 Tbsp Butter
  • 2 Tbsp Flour
  • 1 Cup Milk
  • 1 1/2 cup Mozzarella, shredded and divided
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan, grated

Preheat the oven to 425.

In a medium mixing bowl toss the butternut squash and carrots in the olive oil, thyme, sage, rosemary and 1 clove of garlic. Spread out on a nonstick baking sheet and bake for 35 minutes. I used this time to prepare the noodles and turkey (if yours isn’t already cooked). You can also spice up the turkey by sauteing in a pan with some olive oil, rosemary and salt and pepper.

In a medium saucepan add the butter and 1 clove minced garlic. Melt the butter over a medium heat, whisk in the flour. Whisk until you have a thick roux that is starting to slightly brown. Slowly whisk in the milk and Parmesan. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 2-4 minutes stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and stir in 1 cup of mozzarella. Add the turkey, squash, carrots and noodles. Toss to cover everything in the sauce.

Transfer to a 9×9 greased baking dish. Top with the remaining cheese. Bake for 10 minutes until your cheese is melted and starts to brown.

Enjoy! Happy holidays my friends!!