Sunday, February 19, 2017

Roasted Green Beans

So, I seem to be on a side dish kick lately. Well, it is a pretty important to have some go-tos when you cook dinner pretty much every night of the week. One can only have steamed veggies so many times.

These are on rotation quite a bit. I even make them for us to eat with lunch on the weekends because they are just that good! 

These are similar to Roasted Broccoli, but I love them so much they get their own post 😀

I have only ever made these using FROZEN green beans, straight from the freezer. The most they get thawed is if I get them on the pan and the oven is not to temperature.

I make a large batch of these and if there are any leftovers, it is a small container.  This recipe could easily be halved.

Roasted Green Beans

20-24 ounces green beans
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 450º

Place green beans in a 9x13 baking pan.  Drizzle with the oil and toss to coat. Add salt and pepper, toss to coat.

Bake 25-30 minutes until tender and browned in spots.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Potato Wedges

If you are like me, you get tired of making the same side dishes all the time. I was so happy when I stumbled upon this recipe. The boys and I love them, which is key.

The wedges are not small, but they really do bake up crispy and delicious.

To cut the potatoes into wedges, cut each potato lengthwise in half. Turn potatoes cut side down, and cut each half lengthwise into 4 wedges. I leave the skin on for extra deliciousness.

These potatoes are also easy to throw together. I can usually have these in the oven in less time than it takes for the oven to heat up. They cook for about 30 minutes, so there is plenty of time to get your main dish and a veggie done without too much work. 

Don't be shocked, but we like these with ketchup!

Potato Wedges

3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground mustard
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
2 1/4 pounds baking potatoes, 3-4 medium 
Olive Oil

 Heat oven to 425º. Mix salt, sugar, paprika, mustard and garlic powder.

Scrub potatoes, leaving skin on. Cut the potatoes into wedges, cut each potato lengthwise in half. Turn potatoes cut side down, and cut each half lengthwise into 4 wedges. Place potatoes in a jelly-roll pan. 

Generously pour olive oil over potatoes. I use between 2-4 Tablespoons. Mix potatoes and olive oil so potatoes are evenly coated. Sprinkle spice mix onto potatoes, mix again.

Bake 25-30 minutes, turning the potato wedges halfway through.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Easiest Bacon Ever!

If you haven't baked your bacon in the oven you need to try this! This isn't a recipe per say, but you can cook an entire package of bacon at once, that turns out pretty much perfect every time with little effort.

The trick to making your bacon in the oven is putting the bacon in a cold oven. As the oven heats up, it slowly renders the fat.

You end up with crispy, meaty pieces.

Oven Baked Bacon 

Line a half-sheet pan with parchment paper. 

Lay bacon on pan, try not to have it overlap.

Place pan in COLD oven. Set oven temperature to 400º. Set timer for 20 minutes.

Remove pan from oven. Drain bacon grease and turn bacon pieces. Bake for 5-10 minutes longer, depending on how crispy you like your bacon. Check the bacon frequently so it does not get overdone.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

5 Ingredient Banana Oat Muffins

When you buy two bunches of bananas each week at the grocery store, there are usually a few leftover. Even after you use this handy trick:  Buy one bunch of bananas as green as possible and stick them in a Green Bag, and clip it closed. 

These muffins are SO easy to make - dump and process! It takes longer for the oven to heat up than to get these mixed up. I call these 5 ingredients, because to me, everyone should have baking soda, salt and cinnamon in their panty 😉They are also gluten-free.

I use the food processor bowl from my Ninja Blender system, which has a very high powered motor. I put everything in the bowl, process for 90 seconds, scrape down the sides, add the chocolate chips, and process for a minute more. (The chocolate chips stay mostly intact but end up larger than had I used mini chips.) After the second process you should not be able to see pieces of the dates. You can also use a blender, but you may need to blend the mixture a little longer. I get 12 nicely domed muffins from each batch. 

There is no added sugar, other than what is in the chocolate chips, so make sure your bananas are VERY ripe. As my mom would say, loaded with sugar spots. Don't worry, the dates provide the sugar!

Older's Thoughts: 

This recipe is fast and easy to make. They are tasty and I like to have them with butter. This is a kid friendly recipe; just dump in the ingredients, blend, then spoon into the muffin tins and bake. I like this recipe a lot! You could also put in berries and other kinds of chocolate chips


5 Ingredient Banana Oat Muffins

2 cups rolled oats
3 medium bananas, very ripe
2 eggs
¾ cup pitted whole dates
1 teaspoon baking soda
⅛ teaspoon salt
⅛ teaspoon cinnamon
½ cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350º

Mix all ingredients in a food processor until smooth.

Spoon batter into a greased muffin tin.

Bake for 15-20 minutes. Let rest in pan 5 minutes before removing from pan to a cooling rack to cool completely. Serve with a smear of butter or peanut butter.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Fluffy Buttermilk Pancakes

Breakfast on weekends means pancakes or french toast. I try to do one or the other about once a month. This recipe makes a large batch, enough for two boys who will easily eat 6 or 8 (each!) and the two of us, plus a freezer bag full. It makes an easy breakfast for the boys during the school week and they taste so much better than store-bought frozen pancakes. You could halve the recipe if you don't want leftovers.

These Fluffy Buttermilk Pancakes are by far our favorite. More often than not, I add chocolate chips, but we will on occasion, add blueberries. The nice thing about this recipe is it uses the whole quart of buttermilk. If it all possible, use real buttermilk, not soured milk or buttermilk powder. 

I have three tricks for pancakes. One: Let the batter rest 5-10 minutes before dropping on a hot skillet. I think this helps with the fluffiness. 
Two: Use a cast iron skillet, because it maintains an even heat. I heat my pan to medium before dropping the batter. Three: Wait to drop the pancake batter until the butter has stopped bubbling.

Fluffy Buttermilk Pancakes

4 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
4 Tablespoons sugar
4 eggs
4 cups buttermilk
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chocolate chips (use standard size, not mini) or blueberries

Combine the flour, baking soda, salt and sugar in a large bowl.

Combine the eggs, buttermilk, oil and vanilla. Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry. Stir but do not beat. Lumps are okay.

Melt butter in a cast iron skillet over medium. Wait to drop pancake batter until butter has stopped bubbling. 

Cook pancakes until bubbles that form on top, burst. Flip then cook the other side until golden brown.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Buffalo Chicken Tenders

It only seems like yesterday we were adjusting the spices in recipes so that they were more palatable for the boys to eat. Now, they tell us things aren't hot enough ( I think this has to do with age more than actual taste 😉). 

When I saw this recipe, I knew it would be a hit. What I didn't expect was for it to be as good as it was! We all thought this was just as good, if not better, than a casual dining restaurant. The flavors are all there, without the breading or greasiness.

These tenders come together quickly, which is great for a weeknight meal. I did not have chicken tenders so cut up chicken breasts. I would not make that mistake again. The chicken breast strips started to fall apart a bit, so while the taste was there, it would have been better to have intact chicken tenders. I had help from Younger making these. He did the entire prep except for cutting up chicken breasts. 

Today is a two-fer as I am also including a link to our FAVORITE Blue Cheese Dressing. The Blue Cheese dressing is a must when serving these tenders.

Younger's Thoughts: The sauce is excellent! You should just add a lot more sauce then recipe calls for.

Buffalo Chicken Tenders

1¼ pounds chicken tenders
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 Tablespoons butter
5oz bottle Louisiana-style hot sauce, we used Franks
2½ teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon garlic powder

Blue Cheese Dressing

Mix the hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, oregano, and garlic powder.

Toss chicken with flour and pepper (I do this in a plastic, zip-top bag). In a large skillet, heat 1 Tablespoon butter over medium heat. Add half the chicken; cook until no longer pink, 4-6 minutes per side. Remove from pan. Repeat with remaining chicken and 1 Tablespoon butter.

In the same skillet, melt remaining butter; stir in hot sauce mixture. Add chicken; heat through, turning pieces to coat.

Blue Cheese Dressing

This is our absolute FAVORITE Blue Cheese Dressing. It is quick and easy to make. It is creamy and chunky.

I make this in a pint jar and shake to mix. I use these plastic lids when I make salad dressings.

Blue Cheese Dressing

2½ ounces blue cheese
5 Tablespoons buttermilk
3 Tablespoons sour cream
2 Tablespoons mayonnaise
2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste

In a pint jar, mash blue cheese and buttermilk together with a fork until mixture resembles large-curd cottage cheese. Add remaining ingredients, put lid on jar, shake until well blended. Season with salt and pepper to taste.