Category Archive: Food

Apr 15 2014

Cheeseburger Quesadilla Deluxe #client

Disclosure: As a Sabra Tastemaker, I was compensated for this post, as well as provided with free product. All opinions remain my own. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who help make this blog possible.

Cheeseburger Quesadilla Deluxe

I love my job, but the work week is tough. It’s hard to find inspiration in the kitchen after a full day in the office, followed by a 40-minute drive. By the time I arrive home, all I want to do is park my butt on the couch and relax. I’m spent. Unfortunately, I can’t do this; I have a family counting on me. (Which is probably fortunate, too, because, when left to my own devices, I can be shamefully lazy.) Forge on, I must!

Cheeseburger Quesadilla Deluxe

This quesadilla came from one such night when my husband was working his winter second job and I just didn’t have it in me to prepare the typical meat, potatoes, and veggie meal. I looked at what I had in the fridge–which, thank goodness, was filled with a recent shipment from Sabra Dipping Co.–grabbed the tortillas, and got to work. In no time we had a deluxe treat–something a little more than the usual, but still meeting the fast and easy requirements for Monday-through-Friday. The best part is that you make enough filling for three quesadillas, so you have leftovers to work off of the next time around. Weeknight dinners have been solved. You’re welcome.

Cheeseburger Quesadilla Deluxe

Which meals do you turn to when the week has been long and you’re just too tired to think?

Cheeseburger Quesadilla Deluxe
 
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The filling makes enough for 3 quesadillas, but it's easier to make it and keep it in the fridge than cut it back to ⅓.
Author:
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 2
Ingredients
Filling
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound grass fed ground beef
  • 1½ teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1-2 pinches sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 14.5-ounce can diced fire roasted tomatoes, drained
Assembly
  • 2 10-inch soft flour tortillas
  • 1 cup (roughly 4 ounces) shredded Mexican cheese blend
  • ¼ cup Sabra Spicy Guacamole
Serving
  • 3 Tablespoons Sabra Medium Homestyle Salsa
  • 3 Tablespoons plain whole milk yogurt
Instructions
Filling
  1. Set a 10-inch cast iron skillet over medium-high heat and heat the olive oil in it.
  2. Add the ground beef, garlic powder, sea salt and ground pepper and brown the meat.
  3. Drain the fat and return to the heat, adding the tomatoes. Simmer for 5 minutes, then remove from heat.
Assembly
  1. Heat a 10-inch cast iron pan over medium heat.
  2. Lay out one tortilla and sprinkle ¼ cup of the cheese evenly over it. Spread the guacamole over that.
  3. Place the tortilla in the pan and sprinkle over the guacamole another ¼ cup of the cheese.
  4. Spread ⅓ of the filling over this, then sprinkle the remaining ½ cup of cheese over the filling.
  5. Place the other tortilla on top and heat until cheese is melted and bottom tortilla is lightly browned.
  6. Flip carefully and heat the other side until lightly browned.
  7. Remove to a cutting board or dinner plate.
Serving
  1. Cut in sixths and spread over the top the salsa and yogurt.
  2. Enjoy!
Notes
The remaining filling can be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

 

Apr 14 2014

Roasted Balsamic Brussels Sprouts

Side dishes don’t have to be elaborate. Sometimes, it’s the simplest things in life that are the sweetest. Today I have one of these simple things: Roasted Balsamic Brussels Sprouts. There are only three ingredients, including the sprouts, and most of the time spent making them is passive–you’re just waiting for the oven to work its magic. While I would happily devour a bowl of these little choux and call it a meal, more realistically, this side will provide 4 generous helpings in addition to your entree. The baking time listed will provide you with baby cabbages with a little bit of bite to them still–they are softened just the right amount, without being overcooked. My son gives them a thumbs up. My daughter was so busy stuffing her face that I couldn’t get a sentence out of her. But when she was done, the plate was licked clean. I think that’s an A+.

Roasted Balsamic Brussels Sprouts

I have tried preparing these with more Balsamic vinegar, but prefer using less. This allows for the sprouts to still shine, while being fully enhanced for your pleasure. Feel free to tweak the ratios, though, if you’d like more Balsamic flavor.

Roasted Balsamic Brussels Sprouts

Roasted Balsamic Brussels Sprouts
 
Prep time
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Author:
Recipe type: Side Dish
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Clean and dry the Brussels sprouts, then cut the bottoms off of them and cut in half lengthwise.
  3. Toss in the olive oil and balsamic vinegar, then spread in an even layer on the prepared baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the outer leaves are browned and crispy, stirring a few times during the cooking time.
  5. Serve immediately.

Roasted Balsamic Brussels Sprouts

 What’s one of your favorite simple pleasures?

Apr 07 2014

Prosecco-Brown Sugar Glazed Bone-In Ham #client #giveaway

Disclosure: Jones Dairy Farm sent me a semi-boneless, fully-cooked ham for this post and will be providing the product for the giveaway, as well. No other compensation was received. All opinions and photos remain my own.

Certain foods are expected to be paired with certain times of year. Burgers always make me think of long summer days spent swimming at my grandparents’ cottage at the lake and chasing fireflies at dusk. It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without the turkey. Pile on the stuffing and mashed potatoes, please. And when it comes to Easter, there is no finer pairing than ham. We may not always celebrate Easter on Easter (yes, my family is weird), but you can be guaranteed that when we do, ham is what’s for dinner.

ham dinner

It’s not every day we have ham. So when Jones Dairy Farm asked me if I wanted to make one of their hams and share it with my readers, I jumped at the opportunity. I usually am visiting someone else’s house for Easter instead of playing hostess–it was my turn to spin the tables around. I’m glad I had the chance to show how foolproof it can be, especially when you’re starting with a high quality hog. Jones Dairy Farm makes it so easy!

My bone-in ham arrived in its own little ice chest, wrapped and tied like it was a special gift just for me. Did you know that you can order a Jones Dairy Farm ham to be shipped to your own door, too? In fact, I’ll be giving one away at the end of this post!

Jones Dairy Farm ham

We couldn’t believe how BIG our ham was. It weighed in somewhere around 16.5 lbs and measured nearly 14″ long. We named it–because we’re a little strange around here–Hamilton Porkington I. The kids couldn’t wait for me to cook it up. It was torture waiting until I had the time to plan a proper feast.

Jones Dairy Farm ham

Feast day came and we prepared. My wall oven is too small for my roasting pan–the downside to not having to bend over–so I actually own an electric roaster. It’s something like a huge crock pot that normally lives in the basement when it’s not being used. I unwrapped Hamilton and took him in for all his glory. Wow! Now that was a piece of meat! The aroma already was enticing without heating him up! Because the ham is fully cooked, the time it spends in the oven is just really to reheat it. You don’t want to use too high of a temperature or cook it too long or you’ll dry your ham right out, which would be a very sad thing. So let’s not do that, okay?

After preheating my roaster, I placed Hamilton fat side down on the rack, covered, and set the timer. When there were 40 minutes left of heating time, I added the glaze, brushing it on a second time with 20 minutes remaining. The leftover glaze goes on top right before removing from the roaster to ensure a little bit of sweetness remains. It’s not necessary–you certainly don’t have to glaze your ham at all–but it’s a nice little touch of specialness.

Jones Dairy Farm ham

When you’re ready to carve, put a towel on your counter and place your cutting board on top of that. This helps in two ways: it’ll stabilize your cutting board and catch any drippings. If you have a cutting board with channels in it, I highly recommend using that. My biggest cutting board does not. Let your ham rest for 5 minutes before carving for maximum moistness.

Despite my knife skills class at The Culinary Institute of America in February–including a lesson on carving ham–I’m still a novice. It’s going to take a bit more practice to get the hang of this. Luckily, there is an excellent video on Jones Dairy Farm’s website to help you when it comes time to carve. I know I referred to it several times before I pulled my knife out. The most important part is to ensure your knife is sharp. Otherwise, you run the risk of cutting yourself in the process, and nobody wants that to happen.

Ta-da! There you have it! Easy, peasy, and so darn tasty!

Jones Dairy Farm ham

4.6 from 7 reviews
Prosecco-Brown Sugar Glazed Bone-In Ham
 
Prep time
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Author:
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 16
Ingredients
  • 1 semi-boneless fully cooked Jones Dairy Farm ham
Glaze
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup pure maple syrup (preferably darker)
  • ¾ cup Prosecco
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven or roaster to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Remove ham from wrapping and plastic and place fat-side down on a rack in the roasting pan. (My oven is too small for a roasting pan, so I use an electric, plug-in roaster.)
  3. Cook for 12-15 minutes per pound, or until ham reaches an internal temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
  4. About 45 minutes before ham should be done, combine glaze ingredients in a small saucepan and heat over medium to medium-high heat until it bubbles.
  5. Simmer uncovered for a few minutes to thicken.
  6. Remove the ham from the roaster and score the surface in a criss-cross, diamond pattern.
  7. Return to roaster and brush with ⅓ of the glaze. Cover and continue cooking.
  8. When there are 20 minutes left, brush with half of the remaining glaze, cover, and continue cooking.
  9. Brush with remaining glaze, carve, and serve.
Notes
Total cooking time and servings will vary depending on size of the ham. The ham I cooked was around 16 pounds and required around 3.5 hours of cooking.

Now I know you want your own ham, too, for your Easter table! The folks at Jones Dairy Farm have graciously offered to send one to one of my readers and all you have to do is enter in the Rafflecopter box below. This contest will run through Friday at 11:59PM to ensure there is enough time to get your ham to you before the holiday. Good luck! Note: contest open to residents of the United States only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Apr 02 2014

Whole Grain Streusel Coffee Cake #client #samplewholegrains #giveaway

Disclosure: I was approached by Oldways to be a Whole Grain Sampling Day Ambassador for 2014. They sent me a box of samples for my participation. I received no compensation for this post. All opinions remain my own.

Sample Whole Grains

On the first Wednesday in April every year, the Whole Grains Council holds its annual Whole Grain Sampling Day, an opportunity to try whole grain foods and see just how fantastic they really are. Their theory is that you’re more likely to buy it if you try it, and I have to agree. There are many foods I’ve passed over in life because I never tried them before–and I usually discovered later that I was missing out!

Whole Grain Sampling Day gift box

Today you’ll find a multitude of options for sampling whole grain foods. From specials at Dunkin’ Donuts to Denny’s Restaurants, California Pizza Kitchen to Roman Meal–the conversation will be taking place online through social media and there will be deals and opportunities to try whole grains in person, too. Whole Grains Council has a page on its website detailing some of these programs.

my daughter enjoying a graham cracker

When I was approached by Oldways to participate this year as a Whole Grain Sampling Day Ambassador, I was excited! My personal goal of integrating more whole foods–and, by extension, whole grains–into our diet while continuing to enjoy the sorts of foods we’ve always loved had finally coincided with a program to do just the same. It was meant to be! As an Ambassador, I would receive a box of samples of some great ways to incorporate whole grains into our diet AND be able to give away the same box to one of my readers! Yes, YOU will get a chance to win your own personal whole grain sampling day box and eat your way through it! Pretty cool, huh? (Enter at the end of this post in the Rafflecopter box for your chance to win!)

Whole Grain Sampling Day

The box arrived and I was elated. There were more products in it than I expected. And while I feared it might consist of the sort of twigs and flakes we tend to imagine whole grains to be–tasteless, bland, and boring fare saved only for 80s health food crazes–I was completely wrong. There were Mi-Del honey graham crackers and Roman Meal sandwich bread and Real McCoy’s rice puffs. My kids fought over the Skeeter nut-free cookies, quickly devouring them and begging for more. There was a cinnamon crunch Snackimals cereal from Barbara’s they couldn’t wait to dive into. The BelVita breakfast cookies soon became my quick snack before skiing, providing energy when I was on the go. And the Saigon Sunrise Vietnamese cinnamon kettle corn from Pops-a-Lot–WOW. I shared it with my co-workers and we couldn’t stop picking from it. I never would have imagined cinnamon + kettle corn, but it’s a winning combination. None of this was boring or bland. And I was thrilled!

Whole Grain Sampling Day

I also had the opportunity to order a 5-pound bag of All Natural Ultragrain Blend All Purpose Unbleached Flour, which I used in the recipe I’m sharing today. It’s a cup-for-cup replacement for all-purpose flour that gives you the nutrition of whole grain while combining the taste and convenience of white flour. As a baker, I was very intrigued about this product. Baking, in particular, is tricky if you’re trying to sub in whole grains. They change the texture, often making the finished product chewy or dry, with a graininess that can be undesirable. Their claim that I could use this flour blend in place of white flour and end up with a baked good that was just as appealing was one I had to test out. And I couldn’t think of a better way than with an indulgent coffee cake. Rhyme and reason, after all. I like to blend my extremes.

Ultragrain Blend All Purpose Flour

The Ultragrain flour seemed finer than white whole wheat flour I had used in the prior testing of this recipe. When the coffee cake emerged from the oven, it was fluffier than the last time I baked it–off to a great start. I was so impatient waiting for it to cool. I wanted to try it right away. The verdict? FANTASTIC! The crumb was light AND moist, which was not what I expected at all. If you didn’t know any better, you wouldn’t be able to detect the whole grains hidden inside. Ultragrain lives up to its claim! I’ll definitely be looking for this at the store.

Whole Grain Streusel Coffee Cake

So get on out there today and add some whole grain to your day. It’s really a lot easier than you think–and tastier, too! If you need some ideas on other recipes to try, Oldways also has a fantastic whole grains Pinterest board. Enjoy!

Whole Grain Streusel Coffee Cake

4.5 from 2 reviews
Whole Grain Streusel Coffee Cake
 
Prep time
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Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast/Brunch
Serves: 16
Ingredients
Topping
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, cold and cut up into pieces
  • ¼ cup All Natural Ultragrain Blend All Purpose Unbleached Flour
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup raw turbinado sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Cake
  • 1½ cups All Natural Ultragrain Blend All Purpose Unbleached Flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup plain yogurt
  • ¼ cup whole milk
  • ⅓ cup butter, softened
  • ¾ cup light brown sugar
  • 1 large cage-free egg
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease an 8"x8" baking dish and line with parchment paper. Set aside.
Topping
  1. In a medium mixing bowl, rub the butter, flour, brown sugar, raw sugar, and cinnamon together with your hands for a couple minutes, working it over until you get crumbly clumps like wet sand. Set aside.
Cake
  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.
  2. In a 2-cup liquid measuring cup, whisk together the yogurt and whole milk. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and brown sugar until light. Beat in the egg, mixing until incorporated. Stir in the vanilla extract.
  4. Alternate adding the flour and yogurt mixtures, mixing until just incorporated.
  5. Spread in the prepared baking dish and sprinkle the topping over the batter.
  6. Bake for 24-30 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  7. Cool completely before removing from pan and serving.

Whole Grain Sampling Day

Want to win your own Whole Grain Sampling Day box?

All you have to do is enter in the Rafflecopter box below. Contest open to US residents only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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