Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Tuesday With Tierra! (Pasta Alfredo)

Welcome back to the second recipe by Tuesday with Tierra. Now this particular recipe is one of my favorites! I absolutely love Alfredo! The only downfall is how much butter and cream there is so unfortunately I cannot have this every day like I would like but it is fantastic!

This recipe stemmed from my sister-in-law and then my mother-in-law and now I have revised it to make it mine :D

Pasta Alfredo

You will need:

16 oz pasta
3/4 cup butter
1 cup cream
1/4 tsp pepper
1 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
2 tsp parsley
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup diced onion

1: In a medium sauce pan bring water to a boil and add in the 16 oz pasta, boil till tender.
2: While the pasta is boiling saute onion till tender, in the butter on a large frying pan.
3: Add in garlic to the frying pan when the onions are almost tender and do not let the garlic get to brown.
4: When the butter is melted and bowling add in the cream and bring to boil. Once it is brought to a boil, boil for about 5 minutes and the sauce should thicken.
5: Drain the pasta and add to the pan with the sauce.
6: Mix in parsley, parm cheese, and pepper. Mix well!

Serve on plates and Enjoy!

A nice addition to the pasta is Chicken. Take 1 chicken breast and add to a crock pot with 1 cup water. Season with 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, 1 tsp oregano, 1 tsp thyme. Cook on high for 2-3 hours or until able to pull apart. Then mix in with the pasta and sauce.

Check back next week for another Awesome Recipe!!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Strawberry Limeade

So on Monday I shared the recipe for Strawberry Sauce. And then I made you wait until today to get my new favorite thing to do with that sauce because we got to have our first recipe from Tierra yesterday! Wasn't she great? I'm super excited to try out her fruit salsa and I think I'm going to have to do it as soon as possible.

Now, I know this may not technically count as a "recipe". But I have measurements, I have ingredients and I'm gonna tell it to ya anyway.

If you really know me, you know I loooooovveee lime. Love lime. Like, I can never have enough lime love it. Like, I could put it on everything love it. Like, I do put it on everything love it. I buy bottles of lime juice like everyone else buys bottles of lemon juice. I always have limes in my fridge and the few times I've run out have been sad, sad days. Moral of the story: limes are awesome! And since limes are awesome and, let's face it, so are strawberries, combining them is about the best thing ever. So today I'm going to tell you how to make Strawberry Limeades. And then you should make them. You mustn't delay this very important and crucial part of your day.
You can thank me later. :)
Strawberry Limeade
Start to finish: less than 5 minutes {provided you already have your sauce made up}
Serving size: one lovely, tall glass

1 cup lemon-lime soda
1/4 cup frozen limeade concentrate or fresh lime juice {or a little less if you aren't quite lime crazy like me}
2 Tbsp. strawberry sauce
Crushed ice, optional

Pour the lemon-lime soda into a glass. Add strawberry sauce. Stir. Add limeade concentrate or lime juice. Add your crushed ice.
Then obtain a comfy lounge chair. Place it in a warm, shady spot outside and sip your limeade while dreaming about all things summery and delicious.
See all that frothy, tasty goodness? Doesn't it just make your taste buds tremble with desire for a taste. Mm, I think I better go make me some. :)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tuesday With Tierra! (Fruit Salsa)

Fruit Salsa
By Cara Horton

While I was in Texas enjoying the nice warm weather in comparison to the weather we have around here, hehe, I got to help my sister-in-law make Fruit Salsa. Now just the name makes me kind of excited because I love fruit and am always up for new ways to eat fruit.
We made it for an appetizer for Mothers Day and I think i ate half the bowl!! (but its fruit so thats okay right?)
So I know now is the time for strawberries so thought I would post this and also even though it may not feel like summer, summer get togethers, like family reunions, are right around the corner!

Anyway, You will need:

Cinnamon Chips:
4 (7-inch) flour tortillas
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Melted Butter

2 medium Granny Smith apples
1 cup strawberries, sliced
1 kiwi fruit, peeled and chopped
1 small orange
1 lemon
1/2 cup sugar give or take (this will be for taste, so as much or as little as you would like)

Heat oven to 400 degrees F.

For cinnamon chips, lightly coat with butter. Combine sugar and cinnamon in flour/sugar shaker; sprinkle over tortillas. Cut each tortilla into 8 wedges; place in single layer on cookie sheet. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned and crisp. Remove to cooling rack; cool completely.

For salsa, peel, core, and slice apples. Dice Apples into small pieces, you can use a food processor. Slice strawberries and chop kiwi, into small pieces. Place fruit in 1 quart bowl. Cut orange and lemon in half then squeeze the juice over the cut fruit. Add in the sugar to taste. Mix Well!

Serve with cinnamon chips.

This lasted for a few days. I learned that the citrus of the orange and lemon make it so the apple doesn't turn brown, hmmm interesting. I learn something new every day!

Thanks for joining me on my first recipe with Tuesday With Tierra! Come back next week for a great Dinner dish!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Strawberry Sauce

Have you ever heard of Our Best Bites? They are just about the coolest cooking blog on the planet. I aspire to be as cool {and talented} as them someday. I got this wonderful gem of a recipe from their site and it is so wonderful. I use it every time I have leftover strawberries that need to be used. It's is always perfect to use when the strawberries get a little soft and are no longer fun for just eating {or am I the only one who gets that way?}. I have made this several times and every time I am always glad I did. We love it as a syrup on pancakes or french toast, it would be so delicious on ice cream as a topping, and if you come back on Wednesday, I'm going to share my recent favorite thing to do with this sauce.

Strawberry Sauce
Recipe from Our Best Bites

1 pint {or two cups} strawberries
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp almond extract {which is amazing!} or vanilla extract

Wash and remove the stems on the strawberries. I usually cut them in half at this point but according to the girls at Our Best Bites, this is an unnecessary step.
Combine the berries, sugar and desired extract flavor in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat {as in, don't try to boil it but keep it hot}. Cook for five minutes, stirring and breaking up the strawberries constantly.
After five minutes, remove from heat and allow to cool. When the mixture is cool enough for your blender, add the mixture to your blender and pulse until it reaches the desired consistency. Or don't blend it up and have a syrupy strawberry mixture. Whatever floats your fancy.

This is my new favorite sauce to put on strawberry shortcake. Yummy!
I love leaving it with lots of chunks when I'm going to put it on pancakes or something. So tasty! But I like it smoother if I put it on something like strawberry shortcake or for the "recipe" I'm going to share Wednesday! And don't forget to check back tomorrow for the first recipe from Tierra!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Sweet Potato Fries

This was my first experience ever with sweet potato fries. I had heard several people who either loved them or really didn't so I figured I needed to try it out for myself someday. And then when we got some sweet potatoes in our Bountiful Basket, I decided it was "now or never". Am I glad I did, or what? These were so tasty! In fact, I craved them for days afterward and almost changed my mind about the sweet potato I had saved to make food for my baby and make it into sweet potato fries instead! I didn't - but I almost did.
It's important for me to note that I have never before in my life tasted a sweet potato that I liked. This here recipe, this is proof that different ways of cooking a vegetable can make all the difference in the world as to whether or not you'll like it. So if you're like me and don't love sweet potatoes, give these a try and maybe you'll change your mind. :)
Tasty Sweet Potato Fries
Recipe modified slightly from All Recipes
2 sweet potatoes
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 1/2 to 2 Tbsp. light brown sugar
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste {we thought they were tasty with and without the salt and pepper so if you wanted a low-sodium treat, these would be yummy!}
3 Tbsp. light olive oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Wash and scrub or peel your sweet potatoes as desired. Cut them into fry shapes. Rinse the fries in cold water and drain. Spread onto a baking sheet that has been spread with a bit of oil or sprayed with non-stick spray to keep your fries from sticking.
In a small bowl, combine cinnamon, ginger and brown sugar. Sprinkle it over the fries. Drizzle the olive olive oil over fries and sugar mixture.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until tender {I cooked mine until they were a tad crispy - and I liked them that way. Now whether or not I did that on purpose is to forever remain a mystery}. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Tuesdays with Tierra: Welcome, Tierra!

As I mentioned yesterday, I am welcoming a wonderful addition to this cooking blog! Her name is Tierra and she's my cousin. She loves to cook {and I have to tell ya, that's pretty hilarious! You'll see the details of why below.} and she has graciously agreed to post some of her great recipes from time to time! We've created a new installment called "Tuesdays with Tierra" and we're both super excited about it! This week, you get a formal introduction to this super cute cousin of mine and then we get to look forward to her recipes! Here's the sweet intro she has written up for us:

* * *        * * *        * * *

Why do you cook?
~ I would say there are two reasons 1: I love the satisfaction of making a tasty meal or a baked good for my husband, family and friends :D 2: When I am having a bad day or am stressed about my studies cooking/baking is a fun way to get my mind off things.

What is your favorite thing to cook?
~My new recent thing I like to cook is Chicken Pesto or Alfredo Pizza

Five Fun or Random Facts About You:
1. I used to hate cooking. It was a chore to even help Jessica make Swedish Pancakes lol
2. I used to hate reading and it is my third love. 1- my husband of course 2- cooking 3- reading lol
3. Im obsessed with pictures, I have pics everywhere in my house
4. I hate getting my face wet. Yes, you are correct in thinking I do not get my face wet in the shower; when I'm swimming and doing the front stroke I will keep my head out of the water lol
5. One of my biggest pet peeves is people not spelling correctly. I am horrible at grammar but spelling has always been my strong suit. I won the spelling bee in 5th grade and won a scooter! :D

What is your desired super-power?
~ I would love to be able to read minds.

What is your favorite dish?
I am in love with my chicken pesto pizza, homemade chicken egg rolls, and maple-glazed pork

Your blog:
The Ashcrofts

~ I am 21 years old, married to an amazing man for 1 1/2 years, and just graduated college with Associate Degree of Applied Science in Nursing. In other words I am currently studying to take my state boards to become a registered nurse! That's all about me! I look forward to sharing some of my recipes whether they are borrowed ones or my own.

* * *        * * *        * * *

See, isn't she fun? She and I share some of the same loves {cooking, reading, families} and we also share the same hatred of getting our faces wet! Maybe it's a family thing? Anyway, I am so excited to have her joining us in all our cooking adventures! Welcome, Tierra!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Black Bean and Corn Salad

This salad is absolutely wonderful! It is fresh, cool, and the perfect variation on a "typical" salad. I love salads that are different and I'm glad I've come upon this recipe. I looked for this salad specifically because I had a jicama I needed to use. Have you ever had a jicama? Mm, I love jicama! It is a sweeter vegetable that looks a lot like a turnip and tastes a whole lot better. It is delicious raw and can also be cooked in any dish with other vegetables. A stir fry or fajitas with jicama would be delicious. Just sayin'. It can be a bit starchy; I'm no expert but I'm thinking that it gets starchy quality when it is old. I've linked a video below that you can look into to see how to prepare jicama. In the video you'll be able to see what a jicama looks like {since I forgot to take a picture before I excitedly cut into mine}.

As much as I love jicama raw, I didn't want to just eat the whole thing by itself {it was a large jicima!}, so I decided to put it in a bean and corn salad. I found this recipe on AllRecipes and with just a few modifications, I've got the perfect summer salad.

Black Bean and Corn Salad
Recipe Modified from All Recipes
Ready in 25 minutes
4-5 servings {I think you may be able to get 6 depending on the size of your serving}

1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1/2 tsp salt
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
1 bell pepper, green or red, chopped
1 large tomato, chopped
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1 cup jicama, chopped
1 tsp. ground cilantro or 1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro

Place lime juice, olive oil, garlic and salt into a container with a tight lid. Cover with the lid and shake until ingredients are well mixed. Set aside.
In a salad bowl, combine beans, corn, bell pepper, tomato, green onion, jicama and cilantro. Shake the lime dressing once more and pour over the salad. Stir salad to coat all ingredients and serve.
Note: If you want this salad to go further, serve over a bed of lettuce.

PS - check back tomorrow for an introduction to a new contributor to this little 'ole blog! I'm excited to have her cooking along with us!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Mexican Chicken Skillet

In honor of Cinco de Mayo today, I decided I would post a Mexican recipe. Or a kind of Mexican recipe. Maybe we should call it TexMex. Or American Mexican. Or the "dish-that-wishes-it-were-Mexican". But no matter it's official title is, we can definitely call it good.  This was the meal I craved like nothing else when I was pregnant. And the wonderful thing is that it wasn't "ruined" for me like some of my other pregnancy foods {for example, I have a hard time finding a desire for oranges or Popsicles anymore - both for drastically different reasons, but that's a story for another day}. I can still eat this meal as if it were brand new to me. And I could eat it multiple times a week. Now that is saying something. I am a variety kind of gal. Give me variety or I get queasy. No joke. I must have something different. Leftovers are always kind of an issue around here. My hubby is awesome about eating leftovers - he doesn't care if we just ate it yesterday and the day before but I do. A couple times a week - and never two days in a row - is about all I can handle of the same meal. Except for this one. I have eaten this multiple times in one week and have never gotten sick of it. It is just that amazing! And there are other fantastic things about it, too! Let's list all the pros of this recipe, shall we?
  1. It tastes soooo good. :)
  2. It is super, duper easy. Really, even my sister who doesn't like to cook likes to cook this recipe.
  3. It freezes well.
  4. It makes a ton of food. It usually makes enough for my family to eat for at least three meals. Wowza.
  5. It looks yummy. 
  6. Anything that goes with tortilla chips and has lime in it is simply wonderful. The end.
Now we will list the cons. . . . . . . . . . . Wait. There aren't any!

Mexican Chicken Skillet
Time: about 30-40 minutes

Recipe adapted from $5 Dinners


1 can black beans, mostly drained {meaning, don't worry about squeezing every last drop out of the can - a little liquid will make it tasty}
1 can corn, mostly drained or one cup of frozen corn
1 can diced tomatoes {I really love the ones that have roasted garlic and onions in them, but for a more authentic flavor, choose one with green chilies}
1/2 cup chopped onion {can use green onions, which lend a pretty tasty flavor}
1 1/3 cup cooked chicken, shredded
1/3 tsp. garlic powder, heaping, or 2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 tsp. cumin, heaping
1/4 cup lime juice {or more if you're like me and can't get enough lime}
Salt and pepper to taste {I actually never put salt and pepper in mine - it's one of those things that's good enough without it}
1 cup shredded cheese
Tortilla chips

In large skillet, put all ingredients except lime juice. Cook on medium low heat for about 15 minutes.
Add lime juice and cook for another 5 minutes or so.
Just before serving, top with cheese.
Serve with tortilla chips and rice.

Note: We usually eat this meal as is with chips and possibly serve rice on the side. If you want this meal to go further, mix it with the rice and serve as a casserole. I prefer it not mixed with the rice, but do whatever your taste preference demands!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Hamburger and Garlic Stroganoff

 This stroganoff recipe is my all-time favorite. There is no better recipe. Really. The combination of garlic, onion, and mushrooms with the creamy sauce is amazing! When I was in college, this was the recipe I used to make for my friends and roommates to impress them. And it worked like a charm every single time.

Hamburger and Garlic Stroganoff
Recipe from Robyn Brewer
Makes: 4-6 servings

½ cup onion
1 clove garlic
¼ cup butter
1 lb. ground beef
2 Tbsp. flour
¼ tsp. pepper
1 can mushrooms {I use stems and pieces and cut them into tiny chunks so people don't get grossed out by the mushrooms}
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup sour cream
2 tsp. salt

In a frying pan, saute onion in butter over medium heat for a couple of minutes or until almost soft. Add garlic and saute for another couple of minutes. Add meat and brown. Add flour, salt and pepper and mushrooms. Cook 5 minutes. Add soup; simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes. Stir in sour cream, heat through. Serve over rice or noodles.

Mmm, yummy!


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