Thursday, August 21, 2014

Beef Enchilada Stuffed Poblano Peppers

Another new recipe that sounds spicy but is actually just filled with incredible flavor and super tasty! Now allow yourself some time to prepare this meal since you have to cook your ground beef and make the sauce, then stuff the peppers and bake for 50 minutes. Sort of a longer cook time but worth the wait - the peppers are so tender! Two of my sweet cousins have made this meal and raved about it, so of course I had to try it!

This past weekend I took the boys to Texas to celebrate my grandparent's 60th Anniversary. What an accomplishment, they have really paved the way for what a successful marriage based on love and support looks like. My mom is one of four kids, so all the kids were there and then their kids and great grandkids. It was a super special weekend and we even had a family photo shoot! We spent time at my Aunt and Uncle's ranch that came equipped with corn hole, tractors, 4 wheelers, hot tubs, and family. Such an awesome weekend and I am so glad my sons and I got to go. Congratulations to my Grammie and Poppy - we love you dearly! (Kyle's brother came to CO to hang out so he couldn't be in TX - but he had a great time climbing mountains and camping!)

Beef Enchilada Stuffed Poblano Peppers

Sauce

- 1 tbsp. chili powder
- 3 tbsp. flour
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 tsp. cider vinegar
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp. oregano
- 1/4 tsp. cumin
- 3 tbsp. tomato sauce
- salt and pepper to taste

1. Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan on medium heat. Whisk everything together until sauce thickens, then remove from heat.

Peppers

- 4-5 poblano peppers, cleaned-seeded-deveined
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 medium green pepper, diced
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp. cumin
- 1 tsp. oregano
- salt
- Mexican brand cheese for topping

1. In a large skillet brown your ground beef. Remove excess grease.
2. Add everything else except the cheese and allow vegetables to get soft, about 8 minutes.
3. Add 3/4 cup of your sauce to the meat and stir well.
4. In a baking dish place some sauce on the bottom and then stuff your peppers with the meat mixture. Place peppers in the baking dish.
5. Pour remaining sauce on top of the stuffed peppers.
6. Cover dish with foil and allow to cook at 350 degrees for 50 minutes.
7. Sprinkle cheese on top of your peppers and allow under the broiler until cheese has melted.

 Cleaned out Poblano peppers

Thickened sauce

 Meat mixture

 Stuffed peppers in baking dish

 Beef Enchilada Stuffed Poblano Peppers

Dinner is served!

Happy 60th Anniversary to my grandparents! 

Enjoy!
Brittney


Monday, August 18, 2014

One Pot Chicken Lo Mein

Another recipe to try for dinner that is super easy- everything goes into ONE pot! It takes about 15 minutes to prep your chicken and veggies and then 20 minutes to cook and dinner is served. My kids loved this meal and we will be trying it again soon.

One Pot Chicken Lo Mein

Ingredients

- 1 lb. chicken breasts, cut into cubes
- 1 box of linguini, broken in half (I used whole wheat)
- 4 medium carrots, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 bunch green onions, cut in 3 inch long parts
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. corn starch
- 1 tbsp. sugar
- 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
- 2 tsp. EVOO

1. Add your chicken to a large pot. Place noodles on top then your remaining ingredients.
2. Bring to a rolling boil and then place on medium heat, allow to cook covered for 15 minutes.
3. Allow dish to rest uncovered for 5 minutes before serving.

 Raw ingredients in the pot

 Cooked Lo Mein

Delicious!

Enjoy!
Brittney

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Healthy Dark Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Cookie Bars

The boys and I are back from vacation - and I'm back to cooking! We had an awesome time at Nana and Grandpa's house in the Maryland/DC area. We were so BUSY visiting the National Harbor Children's Museum, National Zoo, Clark's Farm, Port Discovery, and we played outside a lot in my parents' neighbors' grandson's John Deere power wheels. We learned that 16 month olds cannot drive, but will try their hardest to do so while sitting in the passenger seat and hitting the gas pedal while not even touching the steering wheel or looking straight ahead. Oh these boys! We also got to visit with a lot of friends who we hadn't seen in a long time. It was such a well needed visit full of love and laughter!

We did, however, miss daddy very much and we are so happy to be home with him! To show how much we missed him, the boys and I made these amazing Healthy Dark Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Cookie Bars. They are ooey gooey and moist and pretty much melt in your mouth!

Ingredients

- 2 1/2 cups oatmeal, old fashioned oats
- 1 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1 cup white whole wheat flour (plus 1 tbsp. at high altitude)
- 1 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1 tbsp. vanilla
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 8 oz. dark chocolate, chopped into chunks

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Melt your coconut oil in a small pot on low heat.
3. Mix oatmeal, melted coconut oil, brown sugar, flour, vanilla, eggs, baking soda and salt in your mixer until blended.
4. Add 1 cup of your chopped dark chocolate and mix.
5. Place batter in a parchment lined (or greased) 9"x13" baking dish.
6. Sprinkle remaining chocolate on the top. Bake for 25 minutes.

 Melting the coconut oil

 Mixing all ingredients together

 Chopped dark chocolate

Mixing in the dark chocolate

 Top: Batter before being baked 
Bottom: Baked Cookie Bars

 Healthy Dark Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Cookie Bars!

... I'm not sharing...

The Boys driving like crazy people on the beltway at Nana and Grandpa's house!

Enjoy!
Brittney

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

DIY Kitchen Re-Do with Subway Tile Backsplash

Here it is! Our kitchen is DONE! (Well once we decide on drawer pulls and install those, we will really be done.) But for now, we are done! After staining our cabinets, we had granite installed from Lowe's, put in our own white subway tile backsplash, and ran a thin bead of clear chalk where the subway tile meets the granite. The hardest to do by far was the subway tile backsplash. In fact, if we never have to tile anything ever again, I would be fine with that. Two Type-A perfectionists and subway tiles that need to be cut and maneuvered and spaced the same, was hard for us. But we powered on through and finished this project in a day. Grouting was easy, we did that the next day and it took all of 30 minutes.

If you are considering doing your own backsplash, we bought all our supplies at Lowe's and rented a water saw from a local power tools place for $44/day (we only needed one day). I'm so glad Kyle was here to do this with me, because having a huge saw inches from your eye to cut tile, scared me. So, Kyle was in charge of that!

Phase II: Granite and Sink Installation

*We had to have a Plumber come before the granite could be installed to turn off the water in the sink and dishwasher. We also had to purchase a new garbage disposal (ours was pretty old and the rubber was worn out) and a new faucet. The granite we purchased came with a sink, there were many to choose from. We went with a deep banjo sink and are incredibly happy with it! Also, you need to schedule a plumber to come out the following day after your sink installation because it takes 24 hours for your sink to dry, it is glued to the bottom of the granite. The plumber will hook up your new faucet, disposal, and dishwasher.

 Before picture of laminate countertops

 New granite!



 Granite up-close on island

Banjo sink with Delta Ashton faucet

Phase III: DIY Subway Tile Backsplash

Supplies Needed

- notched trowel
- level
- Mastic
- tile spacers, we used 1/8"
- level
- speed square
- ceramic tile cutter
- water power saw
- subway tiles (we used around 200)
- grout, we used DeLorean Gray color
- grout trowel
- grout sponge
- clear silicone chaulk 

1. Find a starting point for your tiles, we started in the middle of where our stove would sit, but ended up tearing all that down and starting on the far left side and moving from left to right. It is easier to cut tiles in half using a ceramic tile cutter. 
2. Draw a straight line with your level where you want to start. Cover area with Mastic using your notched trowel and ensure there are lines from the trowel indented into the adhesive. Apply your tiles firmly. Use your tile spacers as you place your tiles up.
3. As you apply your tiles, make sure you plan for areas that will need cut tiles, such as electrical outlets. Using a speed square to mark off your cuts will help you when cutting the tiles with the wet saw or ceramic tile cutter.
4. Once you have allowed your adhesive to fully dry, apply your grout. Our grout came pre-mixed and did not need a sealer. 
5. Using a grout trowel, apply your grout at a 45 degree angle to ensure it gets in between your tiles. 
6. We did this in 4 sections, taking the time to wipe away the excess grout with the grout sponge that was damp with warm water. This will help your grout to adhere between the tiles. Our grout looked light grey during this step, but ended up drying much darker.
7. Once the grout has dried according to its directions (usually 24 hours), apply a thin bead of clear silicone where the granite and subway tiles meet to keep water from getting behind the cabinets and causing damage.

 Left: Ceramic tile cutter, Right: Type 1 Mastic tile adhesive

Wet Saw in our garage

 Center point where we started our tiles (changed later...)

 Applying Mastic with notched trowel

 Subway tiles with tile spacers

 Tile cuts made with wet saw to fit around outlets

 Finished - tiles are drying!

 Subway tile backsplash complete

Subway tile backsplash

 Applying grout with grout trowel and finger

 Grout looks light gray

 Difference between tiles with grout and without

Going over tiles with damp towel after using the grout sponge (yellow sponge in lower left corner)

 Clear silicone

 Applying silicone where granite and tiles meet

 Clear bead of silicone

Silicone seal after we went over it with a damp finger to wipe away excess (read directions on your silicone tube)

 Kitchen complete!

Stained cabinets, subway tile backsplash, and gray grout

Enjoy!
Brittney

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Blueberry Muffin Overnight Oats

What's for breakfast? Delicious, cold, blueberry muffin oatmeal is! This recipe is super easy and you make it the night before and just serve cold in the morning. My boys loved it! I just quadrupled the recipe - I actually had to transfer the recipe to a different container after the below picture to fit the blueberries. Enjoy!

Blueberry Muffin Overnight Oats (1 serving)

- 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
- 6 oz. blueberry greek yogurt
- 1 tbsp. vanilla pudding mix
- 1/2 cup vanilla almond milk, or low-fat milk
- 1-2 drops vanilla
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- fresh or frozen blueberries

1. Combine all ingredients and mix together. Place in the fridge overnight. Serve cold.

Overnight Oats in a Mason Jar

Enjoy!
Brittney

Monday, July 28, 2014

Bulgogi



When I was younger my family had the opportunity to live in Okinawa, Japan for three years. We visited Thailand and Korea while we were there and my family developed a love for Asian/Oriental cuisine. A famous Korean dish of marinaded steak is called Bulgogi. Delicious. I am sharing with you a family recipe - although I did add the soy sauce. I feel the marinade was more of a rub and needed a liquid to help coat the steak as it marinated overnight. I hope you enjoy this dish!

Ingredients

- 1 lb. sirloin steak
- 1 1/2 tbsp. sugar
- 2 tbsp. chopped scallions
- 1 tbsp. garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp. sesame oil
- 2 tbsp. sesame seeds
- 3/4 tsp. black pepper
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 2-3 carrots, shredded

1. Mix all ingredients together and cut steak into strips. Pour marinade over steak and allow to sit for 3 hours, or overnight.
2. Grill meat or cook in a large pan. Serve over rice.

 Cooking marinaded steak

Bulgogi over rice

Enjoy!
Brittney

Monday, July 21, 2014

Chicken Meatballs in Parmesan Sauce

I recently saw someone post that they had meatballs in a parmesan sauce at a meatball restaurant - who knew those even existed?! Anyway, it put me on a quest to search for a similar recipe. I came across this recipe and it turned out really well. My kids ate everything off their plates. I couldn't believe it! Please try this recipe - you won't regret it!

Kinley kept saying, "Mommy, these meatballs are GOOD!" Kid approved.

Chicken Meatballs in Parmesan Sauce

Ingredients {Meatballs}

- 1 lb. ground chicken
- 1 egg, beaten
- pinch of salt and pepper
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. paprika
- 3/4 cup breadcrumbs
- 2 green onions, chopped
- 3/4 cup parmesan cheese, shaved

Ingredients {Parmesan Sauce}

- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 tsp. flour
- 1/2 cup onion, chopped
- 1 x 14.5 oz. can chicken broth
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 3/4 cup parmesan cheese, shaved
- salt and pepper to taste
- prepared egg noodles

1. Combine all meatball ingredients and form 1 inch round balls. Place on a foil lined and greased baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.
2. Prepare parmesan sauce by sautéing onions in olive oil in a large skillet. About 5 minutes.
3. Sprinkle flour on top of onions. Whisk in chicken broth and heavy cream.
4. Turn your heat down to low and add the parmesan cheese and a pinch of pepper.
5. When meatballs are cooked, add them to your sauce and allow to simmer for 10 minutes.
6. Serve over egg noodles.

Baked Chicken Meatballs

Evolution of Parmesan Sauce

 Egg Noodles

Chicken Meatballs with Parmesan Sauce with a side of roasted veggies!

Enjoy!
Brittney