Coffee Rubbed Skirt Steak with Salsa Verde

My husband works in the coffee industry and stumbled upon a similar recipe. Rubbing coffee on your steak? Never even thought of it! We were both anxious to try it. We had some friends staying overnight with us and thought it would be the perfect summer dinner. We served this steak with my crispy fingerling potatoes. It was the best meal we made all summer! We have made it a few times since for visiting family and it is always a treat. This steak is a great summer recipe for the grill and an easy recipe to make when hosting guests. The salsa verde can be made in advance and refrigerated and steak can be seasoned and ready to go before guests arrive. P.S. This recipe is best served with the homemade salsa verde. I do not recommend serving without it.

IMG_2960

 

Coffee Rubbed Skirt Steak with Salsa Verde Recipe

Servings: 4

  • 1 lb. skirt steak (flat iron or flank steak will work as well)
  • 1/2 cup ground coffee
  • salt and pepper
  • 5-8 tomatillos, peeled
  • 2-4 garlic cloves
  • 1 white onion, chopped
  • 1 cilantro bunch
  • 1 lemon, juiced

Pre-heat the grill pan to high heat. Season the skirt steak on both sides with salt and pepper then rub coffee on all sides generously. Grill for 8-15 minutes depending on desired temp and size of meat. Meanwhile make the salsa verde (this can also be made in advance and refrigerated). Add the tomatillos, garlic cloves, white onion, cilantro, and lemon juice into a food processor and pulse until chunky. Slice the steak and serve with the salsa verde!

Continue Reading

Grandma’s Italian Meatballs & Sauce

Today I am sharing with you a treasure! My grandmother’s Italian Meatballs and Homemade Sauce recipe. I even had to ask her permission to share this family recipe with y’all. This is the true authentic way to make Italian meatballs. They are so good. So so good. Best comfort meal. Best meatballs hands down. Okay, get the point yet? They are so delicious!!

Recipe is below. We serve on top of spaghetti noodles. Paired with a side salad, fresh Italian bread, and a bottle of red wine.

Side note: I do not put a serving size on sauce and meatballs because everyone eats a different amount. It makes a decent size batch though. I always make the whole batch. If I have leftovers, I freeze the meatballs in the sauce for another meal. They do make a great freezer meal. Just defrost and make some spaghetti noodles for an easy last-minute meal!

 

INTALIAN MEATBALLS & SAUCE RECIPE

MEATBALL INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 lb. Ground Beef
  • 1/2 lb. Ground Pork or Italian Sausage
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 cloves minced Garlic
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped Parsley
  • 1/2 cup graded Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/2 cup Bread Crumbs (Soaked in a little milk)
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper

SAUCE INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 large can Tomato Puree
  • 1 small can Tomato Paste
  • 1-2 Bay Leaves
  • 1 pinch of Sugar

OPTIONAL GARNISH: Fresh Parsley or Basil Leaves

Combine sauce ingredients in a large saucepan. Cook sauce on low for 1/2-1 hour. While that is cooking, mix meatball ingredients in one large bowl by hand. Use hands to mix until thoroughly combined. Roll into 1″ balls. After sauce has cooked on low for 1/2-1 hour by itself, add in meatballs. Cook on low for an additional 1 hour, covered. Uncover and cook until sauce is thicker. REMOVE BAY LEAVES BEFORE SERVING. They can cause esophageal discomfort and injury if swallowed. Serve atop spaghetti noodles!

 

Continue Reading

Bacon & Goat Cheese Quesadilla

We eat quesadillas {almost} everyday for lunch around here. I think I am just burnt out on sandwiches from taking them in my school lunch everyday when I was a child. My one year old loves quesadillas too. It’s so easy to sneak in healthy ingredients like spinach, tomatoes, beans, avocado, etc. I’ve been getting creative with my quesadillas lately to mix it up. Here is one of my favorites!

BACON & GOAT CHEESE QUESADILLA

Makes 1 half-size quesadilla

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 Burrito Shell (I used wheat)
  • 3 tablespoons Goat Cheese
  • 1/4 cup Havarti Cheese
  • 1 slice of cooked Bacon, torn into pieces
  • 1/2 sliced Avocado
  • 6 slivers of Red Onion
  • 1/2 cup Spinach
  • 1 teaspoon Olive Oil

Heat olive oil in a skillet on medium heat. Once warmed up, toss in spinach and onions to cook. Remove spinach when slightly wilted and onions when softened, set aside. Spray skilled with olive oil.  Place tortilla on skillet. On half, place goat cheese, havarti, bacon, cooked red onion, and wilted spinach. Cover with other half of tortilla shell. Cook until slighted browned on each side. Remove from heat, open shell and place avocado pieces in. Cut into wedges to serve.

 

Continue Reading

Roasted Sweet Potatoes

This is one of my go-to dishes when I need to take a side dish somewhere. It’s so simple to make. Minimal ingredients, easy to transport, and absolutely delicious. You can easily triple, double, quadruple the recipe to make larger quantities. It is also a great side dish to make when you are hosting a dinner. It gives you plenty of time to focus on cooking other dishes.

ROASTED SWEET POTATOES

Servings: 4-6

INGREDIENTS:

  • 6 Sweet Potatoes
  • 1/2 cup Olive Oil
  • 3 tablespoons Rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Wash and scrub potatoes in water. Peel skin with a carrot peeler.  Chop potatoes into chunks. Line baking sheet with foil. Place potatoes on baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with rosemary, salt, and pepper. Bake for 35-45 minutes until tender and browned. You may need to flip potatoes once during baking time so potatoes roast evenly.

Continue Reading

Pesto alla Genovese

I don’t think I have ever purchased a jar of pesto from the grocery store. My mother and grandmother have always grown basil plants. Throughout the summer they harvest their basil and makes large batches of pesto to freeze for the winter months. That’s the awesome thing about pesto, you can freeze it! Your basil plant will never go to waste. I typically freeze it in baby food freezer containers, ice-cube trays, or cupcake liners. Pesto is delicious on more than just pasta or chicken… it can be used on bread, sandwiches, pizza, lasagna, dips, appetizers, vinaigrettes, vegetable marinade, etc. It is a great sauce to have on hand to add flavor to any dish.

As I was making this batch of pesto with my grandma we were discussing its origin. While it is definitely an Italian sauce, my grandmother whose parents were from Italy, said she can’t remember her mother ever making it. She said her mom always had a basil plant and chopped it up to put in dishes, but never the smooth consistency of a sauce.

My curiosity got the best of me and I did some research on the history of pesto. It was born in Liguria, Italy which is northern Italy. The recipe today calls for parmigiano-reggiano (parmesan cheese), but it is interesting to note that some versions of original recipe call for formaggio d’olinda (gouda cheese). The maritime commerce with northern Europe made gouda almost more readily available. Also, seasonal shortages of basil sometimes required marjoram or parsley to be substituted. Obviously they did not have food processors back then to make it like we do today. The traditional way of making pesto is chopping the basil by knife and mashing all the ingredients together.

Maybe pesto was not a traditional Italian dish for my great-grandmother who was from southern Italy. Or maybe her form of pesto was a chopped, more rustic look. Anyway, sorry for getting sidetracked, there’s your history lesson for today! For the sake of time, I make my pesto in a food processor, but more power to you if you chop and mash it by hand.

PESTO ALLA GENOVESE RECIPE

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 3 tablespoons graded parmesan
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cloves garlic

Add all ingredients except parmesan to food processor. Blend until smooth. Add cheese and process again until blended. (Feel free to add more parmesan if you like your pesto more cheesy.) Serve on pasta, chicken, flatbread, pizza, etc.

Make sure to keep pesto refrigerated or frozen.

 

Continue Reading

Homemade Croutons

I love to cook, but firing up the oven on these 100 degree summer days make me cringe. I opt for creating more salads for summertime dinners.  The great thing about salads is you can change up your ingredients and it is basically always going to turn out good.  You can’t go wrong with salad ingredients. To spice up my barbecue chicken salad, I like to add in yummy cheeses like feta or goat cheese, make homemade ranch dressing and homemade croutons. Very simple things that add an extra touch. Today I am sharing with you my crouton recipe. Enjoy!

IMG_1791

HOMEMADE CROUTONS

Servings: 2

INGREDIENTS:

2 slices of artisan bread

2 tablespoons butter

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon dried parsley

salt & pepper to taste

 

Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees. Cut bread into chunks. Melt butter in microwave for around 15 seconds. Stir in garlic powder, parsley and a dash of salt & pepper to melted butter. Dredge bread pieces in butter melted until thoroughly soaked. Place bread on foil lined baking sheet. Bake for around 20 minutes or until crispy.

Continue Reading

Chicken, Bacon and Caramelized Onion Pizza

There’s something about fancy restaurant pizzas that just always hit the spot. Maybe because it’s typically a pizza you know you could never recreate at home. You know the ones I’m talking about…the ones with fancy ingredients like “caramelized onions” and “figs” and “goat cheese” with some type of special sauce. Well I am so excited to let y’all know that the code has been broken! The code aka fancy pizza recipe. Tonight I created a fancy pizza in my own kitchen! It was not hard at all…nor did it use any ingredients I didn’t already have on hand – another big plus. I paired it with a simple spring mix salad and glass of wine for an upscale take on good ol’ pizza night!

CHICKEN BACON AND CARMELIZED ONION PIZZA RECIPE

  • 1 pre-made pizza crust
  • 1 piece of chicken
  • salt & pepper
  • 2 slices of cooked bacon torn into pieces
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 medium red onion sliced thinly
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 3/4 cup warm milk
  • 3 tablespoons parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese

Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees. Season chicken breast with salt and pepper. Cut into cubes. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium heat. Throw in diced chicken. Turn until cooked thoroughly, set aside. Heat another tablespoon of olive oil in skillet on medium heat. Throw in spinach. Cook until slightly wilted, set aside on paper towels. Squeeze out any excess water from spinach. Heat another tablespoon of olive oil in same skillet on medium heat. Add thinly sliced onions. Allow onions to cook down for around 10 minutes, stirring as necessary. Add in sugar and toss to coat evenly. Let onions cook down for another 10 minutes. After they have cooked, add balsamic vinegar to onions and toss to coat. Set aside. In a small saucepan, melt the butter on medium heat. Add minced garlic and flour while stirring. Continue to stir as you add in the warm milk. Add parmesan cheese and nutmeg while you are still whisking. Season with salt and pepper to taste. When the sauce starts to bubble, remove from heat. Brush edges of pizza crust with olive oil. Spread the sauce over pizza, leaving a 1/2″ lip around edge. Sprinkle on 3/4 of the mozzarella cheese. Then add spinach, caramelized onions, and cooked chicken. Finish topping with remaining mozzarella, feta, and bacon. Bake pizza for 10-15 minutes.

Continue Reading

Nashville Hot Chicken

If you have ever been to Nashville, then you know what I am talking about. If you haven’t, then trust me when I say you WANT to know about these. Nashville is famous for it’s “hot chicken.” It’s a fried piece of chicken with a spicy kick. Served on a bun with pickles. Do not make this recipe unless you have the pickles. Seriously. The pickles make the sandwich and add the perfect bite of sweetness with the hot chicken.

There are two levels of spiciness you can choose between. If you like REALLY spicy foods, use paprika. If you prefer a milder kick, use chili powder. I personally prefer the chili powder.

IMG_1297

 

NASHVILLE HOT CHICKEN RECIPE

Servings: 4

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup panko crumbs
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 cups vegetable oil (give or take based on size of skillet)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon paprika OR chili powder (see comment above)
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 4 sandwich buns
  • shredded cabbage
  • 12 bread & butter pickle chips

Cut chicken breasts in half to make 4 smaller pieces. Set up a dredging station by mixing milk and apple cider vinegar together in one bowl. Place flour in another bowl. Place panko crumbs in another bowl. Start by dredging each piece of chicken in the milk, then flour, back in milk, then panko crumbs until completely covered. Repeat with each piece of chicken and set aside. Pour vegetable oil in cast iron skillet until it is around halfway full. Heat oil on medium heat. Once oil is heated, add chicken to skillet. Let chicken cook, turning every 4-5 minutes. Cook for around 20-25 minutes or until chicken is crispy, brown and a meat thermometer registers 165 degrees. Remove chicken from skillet and drain on paper towels.

Place butter in a bowl and microwave until melted, around 30 seconds. Mix in salt, paprika OR chili powder, garlic powder, and sugar with melted butter. Brush mixture onto fried chicken making sure to cover all sides. Shred cabbage into little strips. Place cabbage, fried chicken, and 3 pickles on sandwich bun to serve. Enjoy with an ice cold beer!

Continue Reading

Farmhouse Summer Quiche

I have another Quiche recipe for y’all, and it probably won’t be the last. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Quiche is one of my favorite foods. I am sharing this recipe as Father’s Day is upon us.  This would make a delicious, hearty brunch for all those special Dad’s out there! Pair with some millionaire’s bacon and hash browns for a tasty meal.

A few tips for making a fluffy Quiche: If you use heavy whipping cream, it will be fluffy. Heavy whipping cream has lots of calories though. You can substitute with half & half to help make it lower in fat.   If you are making this Quiche to serve your guests and really want to impress, I would recommend making it with the heavy whipping cream.

Another tip for making your Quiche fluffy is add in an extra egg white or two in addition to the six whole eggs the recipe calls for.  Extra egg whites will make your Quiche fluffy.

IMG_9007

You can make Quiche with or without pie crust, your preference.  If you are watching carbs or calories, cutting out the pie crust will help. I prefer the crispy crust though! If you decide to make it with a crust, press thin strips of foil just around the rim of the crust while it bakes to prevent the crust from burning.

 

FARMHOUSE SUMMER QUICHE RECIPE

Ingredients:

  • 6 Eggs
  • 1 and 1/2 cup Half & Half or Heavy Cream
  • 1 pre-made Pie Crust
  • 1 cup Spinach
  • 1/4 cup chopped White Onion
  • 1/3 cup diced Orange Pepper
  • 1/3 cup diced Yellow Pepper
  • 1/4 cup diced Tomato
  • 5 slices of cooked bacon torn apart
  • 1 and 1/2 cup Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • 4 slices Havarti Cheese
  • 1 teaspoon Dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons Fresh Parsley
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

*Extra Egg White or two for extra fluffiness

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.  Roll out your pie crust and press into a pie dish. In a separate bowl, whisk together 6 eggs and half & half.  Add salt & pepper to taste and set aside.  In the pie dish, put in your spinach, onion, pepper, tomatoes, bacon, oregano, and parsley. Add in your shredded cheddar and spread slices of havarti cheese.  Pour egg mixture on top. Put foil around edges of crust to prevent crust from burning.  Bake for 35-45 minutes until the egg mixture is set and bounces when you touch center. Cut into wedges and serve.

IMG_0068

Continue Reading

Quinoa & Goat Cheese Burrito Bowl

Cinco de Mayo activities are a tad different when you have kids.  It definitely used to be one of my favorite holidays…  I mean come on, who doesn’t love a good reason to drink margaritas and celebrate? Unfortunately I don’t have time or a sitter to celebrate how I used to. I do have to get dinner on the table for the family though! What better way to celebrate a fun holiday with your family & friends than providing a unique meal everyone can enjoy?

Today I sharing with you my Quinoa & Goat Cheese Burrito Bowl recipe! This recipe is very easy, very healthy, and super yummy! (My 10 month old even enjoy eating his own mini bowl!) This also makes a great recipe to cook with a partner.  One person can grill the chicken while the other cooks the rest. Whether a Cinco de Mayo dish or just a regular weekday meal, this recipe is sure to be a family favorite.

QUINOA & GOAT CHEESE BURRITO BOWL RECIPE

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 large Chicken Breasts
  • Taco Seasoning
  • 1 cup uncooked Quinoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon Liquid Smoke
  • 2 teaspoons Lime Juice
  • 1 cup chopped Red Onion
  • 1 cup chopped Bell Pepper (color of your choice)
  • 1 cup Black Beans
  • 1 cup Corn
  • 1 cup Crumbled Goat Cheese
  • 1 Avocado

Optional Garnishes:

  • Sour Cream or Plain Greek Yogurt
  • Salsa
  • Green Onion
  • Cilantro

Rub both sides of raw chicken breasts with taco seasoning. Place on grill until cooked thoroughly. Set aside. Cook quinoa according to directions on box. After the majority of the water is absorbed by the quinoa, add the liquid smoke and lime juice to the sauce pan so the quinoa absorbs while it finishes cooking. While waiting for quinoa to finish cooking, heat a little olive oil in a skillet on medium-low heat. Toss in chopped onion, chopped bell pepper, black beans, and corn to heat up and grill. Stir continuously with wooden spoon to prevent burning.  Remove when thoroughly heated and set aside. Chop avocado into cubes. Chop chicken into cubes. When quinoa is done cooking, spread evenly between bowls.  Top with chicken, veggies, beans, avocado, and goat cheese. Garnish with sour cream, salsa, green onion and/or cilantro as desired.  Enjoy!

Continue Reading