Friday, April 7, 2017
Banana. Pudding. A southern dessert staple and hands down one of my all-time favorites (rivaling my Grandma's strawberry pie, Mom's german chocolate sheet cake, and Aunt Lorene's lemon bars). I love trying out new ways to make it, but I have to say this version is always the winner for me. The butter cookies (thank you Paula Deen for this idea!) are a yummy alternative to traditional vanilla wafers, and the homemade whip cream blended into the pudding really takes it to the next level. I hope y'all like it as much as we do!
What You Will Need:
1 cup heavy whipping cream*
3 tbsp powdered sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 bag Pepperidge Farm Chessmen Cookies
5-6 bananas, sliced thin
1 small box French vanilla instant pudding
2 cups milk
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
Pour heavy cream into a stand mixer (or you can use a handheld mixer if you prefer). Beat on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Add in powdered sugar + vanilla and continue beating on medium-high speed until until it is the consistency of whip cream (about 2-3 minutes maybe). Pour into a separate bowl so you can reuse the stand mixer for step three.
While whip cream is finishing up, line the bottom of a 13 x 9 glass dish with cookies (save some to crumble on top), then layer bananas over the cookies. Set aside.
Using the stand mixer (I skip cleaning it since you combine everything in a minute anyway), combine the softened cream cheese + sweetened condensed milk. Mix on medium speed until blended. Fold in whip cream.
In a separate mixing bowl, blend milk + pudding mixture with a whisk (or handheld mixer) until it sets, about two minutes. Fold into cream cheese/whip cream mixture until well blended.
Pour the pudding over the cookies and bananas. Crumble the remaining cookies on top. Refrigerate until ready to serve -- I suggest letting it set for at least two hours for better consistency.
*This recipe was adapted from Paula Deen -- she used one small container of cool whip instead of homemade whipped cream. If you want to eliminate a step you can use that too, but if you have the time to make it homemade go fot it -- you won't be disappointed!
Enjoy, y'all! xo
Recipe adapted from Paula Deen.
Wednesday, March 15, 2017
This 15-Minute Marinara has endless uses... homemade pizzas, your favorite pasta dish, to pour over over meatballs, or use for dipping with your favorite garlic bread. It also stores well in the fridge for up to several days. Win win!
What you will need:
1 tbsp olive oil
¼ cup sweet onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 8oz can tomato sauce
1 ½ tsp Italian seasoning
¼ tsp each salt, pepper and sugar
Pinch of red pepper flakes
This recipe makes enough for about four-five personal pizzas so double or triple if you need more, are making a pasta dish, or want to store some for a later time.
In a small saucepan, heat oil on medium-high heat. Add onion and saute for 3-4 minutes, or until slightly translucent. Add in garlic, salt and pepper and cook an additional minute.
Turn heat to medium, pour in tomato sauce, Italian seasoning, sugar and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil, then turn to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes (or longer if you prefer), stirring occasionally.
Dinner idea: top some naan bread with this sauce + cheese + your favorite toppings and cook @ 400 for 10 minutes.
Easy peasy! Enjoy, y'all! xo
Thursday, March 9, 2017
We love one-skillet, easy-to-make, easy-to-clean-up dishes around here! Bonus: when it takes 30 minutes or less before it is on the table. Double bonus: when it includes beans (which my boys would eat everyday if it was up to them).
This Sausage, Spinach & White Bean Skillet meets all criteria listed above. Score!
What you will need:
1 tbsp olive oil
½ pkg of turkey kielbasa (or your preferred sausage), sliced fairly thin
½ yellow onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cans cannelini beans, rinsed & drained
½ can fire-roasted diced tomatoes (Muir Glen is my fave brand)
4-5 cups fresh spinach leaves
½ tsp salt (optional as you will also get salt flavoring from the chicken broth)
Dash of red pepper flakes (also optional if you want an extra kick)
2 cups (or more/less depending on how "saucy" you want it) reduced sodium chicken broth
Recipe serves about 4 people (2 adults + 2 kids for us, with some leftover).
In a large skillet, heat olive oil on medium-high heat. Saute onion and sausage for about 4-5 minutes, or until onions are translucent and sausage is slightly browned. Add in garlic, herbs & spices and saute an additional minute.
Add in spinach and continue cooking/stirring for 2-3 minutes, or until spinach has wilted down. Pour in beans, tomatoes and chicken broth. Bring to a boil.
Let mixture boil for a couple minutes and then turn down to medium heat. Cook about 5-7 more minutes, or until mixture has thickened. Lower to medium-low or low setting and simmer until ready to eat.
Serve in a bowl with some warm crusty bread and enjoy this 20-minute dish full of protein, greens and flavor!
xoxo, y'all --
Wednesday, February 8, 2017
We heart popcorn around here! If you do, too, you must try this sweet version for Valentine's Day! This recipe takes very little time to make and will surely be eaten up just as quickly. I make this year-round and adjust the M&Ms and sprinkle colors according to the season or holiday. Super easy and super yummy!
What you will need:
1 bag pre-popped popcorn (preferably lightly salted - I love this Cooking Light version)
1 cup (or more) broken pretzel pieces
1 cup (or more) Honey Nut Cheerios
1 bag white chocolate morsels (I love Nestle)
1/2 cup (or more) M&Ms
Pour popcorn into a large mixing bowl. Add pretzels and cheerios. Set aside.
Place parchment paper on a large jelly roll pan (or something flat with sides so the sprinkles don't fly everywhere later on).
Melt chocolate according to package, being careful not to burn. Pour onto popcorn/pretzels/Cheerios and stir to coat evenly, leaving a little bit of the chocolate to drizzle on top in a minute.
Immediately spread popcorn mixture onto parchment paper and drizzle the remaining chocolate on top. Spinkle M&Ms and sprinkles on top of the mixture (don't wait long because the chocolate hardens pretty fast).
Let popcorn cool and then break apart. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container for up to three days.
xoxo, y'all --
Thursday, February 2, 2017
Y'all will never hear me say no to an enchilada. Like ever. Tortillas + cheese + mexican spices + creamy sauce... what more could a gal ask for (besides chips and a margarita to complement them)?!
These Black Bean & Chicken Verde Enchiladas are the product of a merge between two of my favorite recipes / using what ingredients I had on hand. That's the beauty of enchiladas - they are covered in cheese so anything tastes good mixed within them. ; )
I did take a few extra steps in preparing these guys, but I also offer tips below on how to cut some corners as you may not have the extra time like I did today (thank you napping children - praise!). The Fry crew was very pleased with the results so here goes...
2 cups chicken breast, diced
1 can black beans, rinsed & drained
3-4 green onions, diced
1 cup roasted salsa verde
Fajita size tortillas
Spice blend: 1 tsp each cumin, garlic, salt; ½ each tsp each pepper, onion powder, chili powder
Toppings: shredded monterey jack (about ½ cup), cilantro, tomatoes, avocado (or whatever else you like)
Roast your chicken in an olive oil + salt + pepper + garlic powder blend on 375° for 30 minutes OR use rotisserie (way easier & already has great flavor built in). Dice up into bite-size pieces.
Mix your spices together and set aside - you will use them throughout the process.
Pour black beans into a saucepan, cover with chicken broth and 2 teaspoons of the spice blend. Bring to a boil, turn down to medium heat and cook 5-10 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Mash some of the beans to give them a creamier texture.
Alternative: you can use uncooked beans - they will still be tasty and this takes off a step from the process - but you'll need to at least warm/mash them so the mixture will stick together.
In a large bowl, mix together chicken, beans, cheddar cheese and 2 of the diced green onions. Set aside.
In a small sauce pan (rinse and reuse the one used for the beans) on medium heat, mix together the salsa verde, cream cheese & 2 tsp spice blend until smooth (about 8 minutes). When done, mix about ¼ cup into the chicken & bean mixture.
Alternative: heat cream cheese + salsa + spices in microwave in 30 second increments until melted.
Pour some of the enchilada sauce into the bottom of a baking dish. Place chicken & bean mixture onto one side of the tortilla and roll up. Cover enchiladas with remaining verde sauce, top with monterey jack cheese & cook on 350° for 30 minutes, or until bubbly.
*This should make 6-8 enchiladas depending on how you fill them*
Top with cilantro, remaining green onions, avocado, etc. Enjoy with some rice & beans / chips / salsa / guac / pico / all the things!
xoxo from my enchilada-loving heart --
Tuesday, January 24, 2017
Even though I prefer college football over professional, I look forward to celebrating Super Bowl Sunday every year. It makes me feel a bit nostalgic (I can remember my mom making treats when we were little), and it is also a great excuse to gather some friends, enjoy some fellowship around the table -- or couch : ) -- and indulge in a 'supper' full of festive bite-sized treats and hearty appetizers. Below is a round-up of some of my favorite things to make for football watch parties!
When I dip you dip we dip. Seriously, I love dips.
The first link goes to a savory cheesecake, the second link to a yummy layered dip (that would be oh so cute in individual clear cups) and the third goes to my favorite onion dip from Ina Garten - so so good! And who doesn't love Barefoot Contessa? #cookingshowgoals
If you do not like Fried Pickles I might have to question our friendship ; ) -- but really, these are always a hit! Side note: you can make these ahead of time and keep them warm in the oven on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.
You can NEVER go wrong with sausage balls. My favorite version includes a little pimento cheese, because why not?
1 ½ cups Bisquick
½ lb mild pork sausage
2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
½ cup pimento cheese (love this brand)
½ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
Roll into 1 inch balls, place on greased jelly pan & cook on 375 for 20-25 minutes. This should make enough to serve 4-6 people, so double if you need more!
If you want something heartier, a chili bar is always a good idea!
Lots of chili options here: white bean chicken chili, savory beef chili and taco chili.
Serve with grated cheese, diced onion, avocado, tomatoes, cilantro and tortilla chips.
If you want something healthier, you could make a bite-size version of these. Although not your typical Super Bowl food, they are surprisingly delicious!
And of course a cheese + meat board & hummus + veggie platter are always a win, too. Add in some sugar cookies topped with team color icing & chocolate-covered football strawberries and you've got yourself a party!
Cheers to gameday (menus), y'all --
Wednesday, January 18, 2017
We are ALL about some leftovers in the Fry house. I know some people are on the "throw them away" train... but I reallllllly think one of my missions in life is to convert everyone to the "keep leftovers and repurpose them into a new meal" train. Who wouldn't want to cut back on some time, save some money and still eat something delicious? Count this girl in!
I love a getting creative in the kitchen and reusing leftovers is the perfect outlet to do this. If I'm on top of my game -- which is not very often these days ; ) -- I will plan a few weeks out so several meals can build off of one another. Think leftover meatballs on homemade pizza, leftover veggies can go in the food processor to make a healthy red sauce, baked chicken can become chicken salad, mashed potatoes can turn into potato pancakes, you get the idea. Note: there is obviously a point at which leftovers do need to be thrown away (i.e. reuse within a couple days after first cooking) so be conscious of that as you cook.
For a real time example, I made our favorite Slow-Cooked Creamy Chicken Tacos two nights ago. Side note: I didn't have cream cheese on hand so I made them without. They were still yummy but just not so creamy, which worked out really well for me to use them again in the dish below.
Last night I used the leftover chicken to make White Bean Chicken Chili (recipe below). The chicken was already so flavorful I barely had to do anything else to it. Dumped everything into the crock pot, threw a few spices in and let it cook 6 hours. SO EASY!
Next time I have leftover chicken from these tacos (because we make them more than I'd like to admit) I will use it to make a tamale pie with a corn + cornmeal + cheese mixture on top, and serve it with a salad. Guys, see? You can totally do this! You may not always have leftovers (which is not a bad sign) and they may not always be reusable, but if they are and you can start thinking in advance about how to get two meals out of one I promise your life (and time spent in the kitchen) will be forever changed! : )
2 cups (leftover) slow-cooked chicken taco mixture
1 can cannellini beans, rinsed & drained
1 can pinto beans, rinsed & drained
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
1 can petitie diced tomatoes
½ yellow onion, diced
½ green pepper, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp each: chili powder, cumin, salt
1 tsp each: garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper
Dash of cayenne pepper (optional)
3 cups chicken broth (or more depending on how "soupy" you want it)
Throw everything into a crock pot and cook on high 6 hours or low 8 hours. Garnish with avocado, cheese, cilantro and tortilla chips.