Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Beef and Bean Burritos

I recently wandered over to the Pioneer Woman and found a couple of great "Sixteen Minute" recipes. During the summer months I don't particularly enjoy cooking indoors, but I hate to ask Mario to grill something every single night! I whipped this up (in a bit more than 16 minutes) and we both really enjoyed it--even though Mario's first choice isn't Mexican food! I cut the recipe in half since I wasn't feeding 2 growing boys and it was perfect for the two of us plus a lunch for me the next day! :)

Beef and Bean Burritos (that should take 16 minutes)
Yields: 4 servings
Source: ThePioneerWoman

1 pound ground beef
1/2 yellow onion
1 small can Mexican Tomato Sauce (I think it's like 4.5 oz and the can is yellow)
salt and pepper to taste
oregano and garlic powder to taste
1 can (14.5 oz) refried beans
grated Mexican cheese
a package of burrito flour tortillas (whatever size you'd like)
your favorite toppings: cilantro, sour cream, tomatoes, salsa, guacamole, black olives, onions, green chiles, etc.

Brown the beef and onion in a skillet; season with salt and pepper. Pour in the sauce, sprinkle in the garlic powder and oregano and simmer over medium-low heat. Heat refried beans in a saucepan and add cheese and still until its melted; keep on low heat. Heat the tortillas in the microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute (do 2 at a time). Fill each tortilla with some beans and beef; fold the ends then roll it on up. Place the filled burritos on a plate, top with some cheese, and microwave for 1 minute or until the cheese is melted. Top with whatever you'd like! Serve with some Mexican rice!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Blueberry Coconut Crisp (yes, Mom, the coconut is optional)

My local grocery store had a pint of blueberries on sale for just $1.99! I couldn't believe it! I love fresh fruit because it makes the best addition to something sinful like a Crisp, Crumble, or Streussel recipe. I'm sorry! Did you think I enjoy fresh fruit just for the sake of eating fresh fruit?! Heck no. My husband is the one who thinks a bowl of fruit is dessert. I say that's fine as long as you sprinkle it with sugar and put a dollop of whip cream on top. I distinctly recall my dad eating a lot of frozen fruit for dessert, too. So strange. Anyway, this dessert was a hit--even with my husband. It was actually his idea to add the coconut after he tasted the uncooked crumble mixture! He didn't have very much of it...and he didn't even know I used wheat flour instead of white. At least I attempted to "health-ify" it, right?

Blueberry Coconut Crisp
Yields: 8x8 two gigantic servings?
Source: Adapted from browneyedbaker

1 pint fresh blueberries (about 2 cups)
2 Tablespoons white sugar
1 cup flour (all-purpose OR wheat)
1 cup instant oats
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup butter
1/2 to 1 cup sweetened coconut (depending on how much coconut you want--you can totally leave this out)

Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl toss together blueberries and white sugar; set aside. In a separate large bowl, combine flour, oats, and brown sugar. Cut in butter until crumbly. Press half of this mixture in an 8x8 glass baking dish. Cover with all of the berries and then sprinkle the coconut on top of the berries. Sprinkle remaining crumble mixture on top of the coconut. Bake in the preheated oven for 30-40 minutes, or until the berries are bubbly and the topping is golden brown. Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Monkey Bread

Hold on...I can't mouth is full of this monkey bread!!! I don't know what it is about Monkey Bread that makes me go bananas! {Cue cheesy joke drum solo: ba dump sh} I have to admit that I regularly purchase the frozen Monkey Bread and just do that as a quick dessert or in place of cinnamon rolls for breakfast. But, you can bet that after having made this Monkey Bread I solemnly swear to never purchase frozen Monkey Bread again!

Monkey Bread
Source: Adapted from (a new favorite blog)

4 tubes regular sized homestyle refrigerated biscuits or 2 tubes jumbo biscuits
2 cups sugar
2 T cinnamon
2 sticks butter, melted

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
-Melt the butter in a glass dish in the microwave.
-Open all the tubes of refrigerated biscuits and put the biscuit rounds on a large cutting board.
-Mix together the sugar and cinnamon in a large bowl.
-Cut the biscuit rounds into quarters.
-Generously spray the entire inside of a deep, metal pan/bundt pan/tube pan with cooking spray.
-Dip the quarters of biscuit in the butter and then begin arranging them in the pan, stacking them on top of each other in no particular pattern.
-Bake for 40 minutes or until the top springs back when touched with your finger. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes (if you can wait that long!!) and then invert onto a plate to serve.
-Eat them for breakfast, mid-morning snack, lunch, mid-afternoon pick-me-up, appetizer, dinner, dessert, and midnight snack.

Yeah. I know. Amazing.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Grilled Chicken and Asparagus Pasta

I love the simplicity of this dish. It's simple on so many layers, which made it a perfect candidate for a 4th of July meal. It's simple in preparation and in thought, but the flavor combination is stunning. My husband and I decided to stay close to home for this 4th of July; why go anywhere when we could see the fireworks from our front porch?! Before the show started, we whipped up this dish and even had time for dessert! Clean-up was so simple, too! I love it! Hope you enjoyed your 4th of July!

Grilled Chicken and Asparagus Pasta
Source: Me and Mario

1 bunch asparagus (tough ends trimmed)
1 handful spaghetti
5 chicken tenderloins
olive oil
2 T butter
salt and pepper
mozzarella cheese
parmesan cheese

-Heat a grill to medium high. Fill a large stock pot with water and bring to a boil over high.
-Once your grill is hot, season the chicken with salt and pepper on both sides and put on the grill.
-Once the water is boiling, season the water with some salt and stir to dissolve. Put your pasta in the boiling water and stir. Cook the pasta to al dente. Make sure you also flip your chicken during this time. Overall, the pasta and chicken should be done at about the same time. If the pasta finishes first, just leave it in the hot water but turn the flame off. Make sure your chicken is cooked!!
-Once the chicken is cooked, transfer it off the grill to rest. Put your asparagus spears in a large bowl and season with lots of olive oil, salt, and pepper. Toss to coat evenly. Grill to your desired doneness; I prefer mine to have a slight bite but definitely have some charred tips. Remove the asparagus and cut the stalks into 3 sections.
-Drain the pasta, transfer it to a large serving bowl, and add the 2 T butter; toss to melt the butter. Sprinkle the pasta with the parmesan cheese.
-Slice the chicken into bites as big as the asparagus bites. Add the chicken and asparagus to the pasta bowl and toss to mix together. Sprinkle a little mozzarella cheese on top.

Mmmmm...grilled asparagus...


Sunday, July 4, 2010

Mini Meatball Pizza

Summertiiiiiiimeeee, and the livin' is eaaaaasssyyyyy...Yes! Summer vacation is in full swing and, my friends, have completely neglected to post anything for what seems like an eternity! Perhaps it was the end-of-the-year bustle to get my classroom cleaned out, perhaps it was the countless final papers I had to write, perhaps it was the having to find a house and move within three weeks, perhaps it was laziness. Whatever the cause may have been, I have a few recipes to share with you. I can't promise that I'll be very effective, organized, and efficient in my blogging this summer, though. We'll see! Because summer means hot weather and long, lazy days, I want my meals to be quick and painless. This pizza was cinch and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Mini Meatball Pizza
Source: Me

1 pizza dough (I used Fresh and Easy Rosemary Focaccia and it was AMAZING--even though I hate rosemary due to a bad breakfast experience with it my freshman year of college in the cafeteria)
1/2--3/4 cup favorite red pizza sauce (I used Fresh and Easy Vodka Cream pasta sauce...weird? NO! AMAZING!)
1 lb ground beef
1 egg
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
pinch crushed red pepper
salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2--2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

-Preheat oven to 500 degrees; allow pizza stone to heat with it and let the stone sit in the hot oven for at least 30 minutes.
-Meanwhile, put the ground beef in a bowl, add the Italian seasoning, egg, crushed red pepper, salt, and black pepper. Mix together using your hands but don't over mix. Put half of the meat in a freezer-safe bag and put it in the freezer for the next time you need a few meatballs. Roll bits of the meat into mini meatballs--make them whatever size you'd like. Set aside.
-Lay a piece of wax or parchment paper out on your counter and sprinkle with some flour. Coat the pizza dough in the flour and stretch it out to form a crust that will fit on your pizza stone. Top with the sauce and mozzarella cheese. Feel free to add any other toppings at this point.
-Begin frying the meatballs in a skillet on the stove top on medium-high. Fry evenly on all sides until the meatballs are just cooked; if they're a little pink still that's even better. Drain on a paper towel and transfer to the top of the pizza. Put the "dressed" pizza on your hot pizza stone and cook for just about 8 minutes. ENJOY!

I love these meatballs!

I almost forgot to take a picture of the pizza...this was all that was left after my husband and his friend chowed down. And, unfortunately, this was the ugliest part of the pizza! Oh well! :)


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