onion

Tazziki Sauce

1 1/2 cups plain Greek yogurt
1/2 medium cucumber grated with extra moisture squeezed out
1/2 tsp salt (1/4 tsp if on low salt diet)
2 tsp vinegar
3 Tbsp minced garlic
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp dried dill

Anchor Hocking Classic Glass Food Storage Containers with Lids, Blue, 2 Cup (Set of 3)

by Anchor Hocking
Anchor Hocking Classic Glass Food Storage Containers with Lids, Blue, 2 Cup (Set of 3)

by Anchor Hocking

Combine all ingredients mix well use blender or food processor if desired.
Cover and place in refrigeration while getting ready to assemble Gyros so the flavors can blend. Great for Gyros, and even on monster sub sandwiches in summer.

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Jen’s Loaded Nachos

I These started out as a great alternative to traditional recipes of tacos, enchiladas, Doritos casserole. They make a great meal, snack, or game day favorite too.I wash mine in the dishwasher and reuse at parties, on special occasions and if it breaks it was disposable to begin with.

Ingredients

2 lbs minced beef or chuck
1 medium yellow onion diced
1/2 medium bell pepper chopped
2 Roma tomatoes diced
Sour cream (we like Daisy in squeezeable application)
Chucky salsa (we like taco bell mild)
1 – 16oz fiesta blend shredded cheese
Guacamole if desired
1 lg bag Tostitos Scoops (you can use any kind of totilla chip you prefer these just make handy cups)
2 pkg McCormick Taco seaoningChopped jalapeno, black olives, melted cheese sauce, are optional.
You can make to many variations to list, including chicken, steak, salsa verde, lime, and anything else you can dream up.  I make mine like our family taco night.Farberware 22001 Buena Cocina Deep Nonstick Frying Pan / Fry Pan / Skillet with Lid and Helper Handle - 12 Inch, Black  by Farberware  Farberware 22001 Buena Cocina Deep Nonstick Frying Pan / Fry Pan / Skillet with Lid and Helper Handle – 12 Inch, Black.    by Farberware

Directions

  • In medium pan, brown ground meat.
  • Drain excess fat
  • Add 1/2 cup water and taco seasoning stirring well to coat meat.
  • Continue over medium heat until water has evaporated.
  • Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  • Chop or dice vegetables as needed. I found a few great shortcuts if there is no one around to help.  You can get shredded iceberg lettuce like the restaurants use in the produce section at your local Walmart. If I don’t have the time the also have pico de gallo instead of dicing onions and tomatoes yourself. They add cilantro and typically Serano peppers. 
  • Spread chips or cups on big tray. 
  • Evenly sprinkle with cooked, seasoned meat, vegetables, cheese and toppings as desired. 
  • Feeding a diverse crew?  Set everything up and let them add their choices as they like them.  This concept also works well for parties and game days too.


Try with a virgin or real margarita and maybe Tres Leche cake for dessert.

My Blue Cheese, Spinach stuffed Beef Wellingtons

While these do take a bit of work, you will be rewarded with each bite of these delicious Wellingtons. I usually do these as a labor of love on special occasions like New Year’s Eve or an Anniversary. They also work well for a special dinner for 2. Just add candlelight, and a salad. A great pairing is my Winter Arugula Pear Salad. It makes for a really good dinning experience. Add a decadent desert and anyone dinning will be very impressed. See Loaded Brownie recipe.

Components

Puff Pastry

  • 3 packages frozen puff pastry, Pepperidge Farm brand
  • Flour for rolling
  • 2 eggs Whisked with 2 Tbsp water

Mushroom Filling

  • 1 – 8oz pkg Baby Bellas chopped
  • 6 Tbs. olive oil; more for cooking
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. Rosemary
  • Salt and Black pepper to taste

Carmelized Onions

  • 4 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 3 medium onions thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • Salt and Black pepper

Spinach and Blue Cheese

  • 2 – 10oz pkg fresh spinach blanched
  • Pinch Black pepper (optional)
  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • Crumbled Blue cheese about 6 oz

For the Steaks

  • 4 – 7oz Ribeye or Eye of Round steaks
  • Salt and Black pepper
  • About 4 Tbsp butter, more as needed
Wilton Perfect Results Premium Non-Stick Bakeware Cookie Baking Sheets Set, 2-Piece

by Wilton
Wilton Perfect Results Premium Non-Stick Bakeware Cookie Baking Sheets Set, 2-Piece

by Wilton


Preparation

  • Roll out and cut the pastry—Roll out each pastry sheets to about 3/16-inch thick, with a sharp knife, cut out a 9-inch round. From the scraps, cut out leaves or other shapes to use as decoration. Layer the pastry rounds (and the decorations) between pieces of waxed paper or parchment, lay on baking sheet and store in freezer until ready to assemble.
  • Cook the mushrooms—In a bowl, toss the chopped Baby Bellas with olive oil, garlic, thyme, and rosemary; cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours overnight is better. Heat a heavy skillet over medium-high heat, add a thin film of oil, and sear mushrooms until they’ve softened and browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer them to paper towels. When cool, set aside till ready to use.
  • Caramelize the onions— Melt butter, add the onions, cooking over medium heat, slowly, stirring occasionally, until well browned, and soft, about 20 minutes. Add the wine and cook until the pan is dry. Set aside to cool. Put the cooled onions in a bowl; cover and refrigerate.
  • Prepare the spinach and cheese
  • Wash spinach well and remove any stems. Prepare an ice-water bath. Put half of the spinach in a large sauté pan with a touch of water, and 1 Tbs. of the butter. Cook over medium-high heat, until justbwilted and immediately put it in the water bath to shock the color and stop the cooking. Scoop it from the ice water and put it in a colander to drain. Squeeze the spinach, in a clean kitchen towel, as much as you can and set it aside on paper towels to continue draining. Repeat with the remaining spinach. Cover with plastic and refrigerate. Stir in blue cheese, salt and Black pepper.
  • Cover and refrigerate until ready to assemble.
  • Sear Steaks—Season each portion of meat with salt and pepper. Rub the seasoning into the meat to keep it in place. Add butter and dash of olive oil to a heavy sauté pan. Sear the steaks over high heat for 2 minutes on each side until brown and crisp on the outside. Be sure your pan is very hot for searing the meat. Do not overcook it, or crowd the pan. It will cause the meat to steam instead of sear. (Check the sides to be sure the filets are still red in the middle.) Work in batches if needed. Refrigerate until ready to use, up to 24 hours.
    Searing the steaks makes for a nice crust but a still-red center—once wrapped in pastry and baked, they’ll cook to medium rare.
AmazonBasics Silicone Baking Mat Sheet, Set of 2  by AmazonBasics
AmazonBasics Silicone Baking Mat Sheet, Set of 2

by AmazonBasics

Some Assembly Required

  • Arrange your mushrooms, onions, spinach, and steaks within easy reach. Divide mushrooms, onions into four portions. Spinach into 8 portions.
  • Make sure the caramelized onions are well drained (they tend to collect liquid as they sit).
  • Cover a large rimmed baking sheet (that fits in your freezer) with kitchen parchment or silicon baking mat.
  • Have a ruler, a small sharp knife, a pastry brush, and the egg wash on hand. Lightly flour one area to lay pastry, (the cooler the area the better).
  • Pull a pastry round from the freezer and lay on the floured surface. Working quickly lightly score a 4×3-inch rectangle in the center of the round; don’t cut through the pastry. Extend the lines of the rectangle and cut out the corners of the round created by the line extensions, leaving a cross of pastry with a 4×3-inch center.
    Cut a cross shape out of the pastry round. Save the scraps to cut out decorations.
  • Spread Spinach in thin layer on the rectangle of pastry. Follow with a layer of onions, the steak, a layer of mushrooms and second layer of spinach. Spread each layer as evenly as possible. Brush a light coating of the egg wash on each of the four panels of dough.
  • Check to be sure that the pastry is now pliable enough to fold without breaking (wait a minute or two if necessary). Fold up the longer sides first and then the end Fold each side panel onto the top, stretching the dough a bit if necessary to make the ends meet, or slightly overlapping if necessary. Follow suit with the top and bottom panels. Seal the panels together by pressing in the top panel where it meets the bottom panel and by pinching each of the four sides together where the panels meet. It’s important that pastry iswell sealed so the juices don’t leak out.
  • Hold upright in your hands, securing all the seals and smoothing any rough spots to make the package into a neat, rounded block. Set it seam side down and gently press the top and sides to make them as even all the way around as possible. Brush the top and all sides with egg wash. If desired puut decorations on top and brush with egg wash. Set the Wellingtons on the lined baking sheet. Set in freezer to set and chill the pastry. Repeat with the 5 remaining Wellingtons, adding each to the pan in the freezer as you go. Allow 1 hour in freezer.

Cook the Wellingtons:

  • Heat the oven to 400°F. Make another egg wash. Remove the Wellingtons from the freezer (do not thaw) and brush them with a fresh coat of egg wash. Cook for 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350°F and cook another 35 to 40 minutes. Set them aside to rest for no longer than 10 minutes. Serve immediately.
Outlander returns for Season 5 February 16, 2020
Outlander fans rejoice! Season 5 starts February 16, 2020

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

With the fall season change, we get cooler temperatures and football.  We also get cold and flu season.  At some point in your life, I’ll bet you’ve heard chicken soup is the popular choice when a cold or flu comes home with you. Turns out there are health benefits to this comfort food that can help you recover. Cozy plush warm robeI recommend making your own and stocking it in the freezer. As my husband is both diabetic and on a low salt diet, it’s easier to control the ingredients.  It’s great on a just a winter evening or battling a bug. So here is my favorite recipe.AmazonBasics Enameled Cast Iron Covered Dutch Oven, 6-Quart, Blue  by AmazonBasics  AmazonBasics Enameled Cast Iron Covered Dutch Oven, 6-Quart, Blue

by AmazonBasics

Homemade Chicken Soup

2-3 lbs chicken breasts or thighs

2 tsp olive oil

3 Tbsp fresh minced garlic
3 tsp grated ginger
1 medium onion diced
1 cup diced fresh carrots
1/2 cup diced celery
4 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp black pepper
Pinch of red pepper flakes if desired.
2 cups uncooked egg noodles (use low carb options here if prefer)

Optional ingredients are 1 cup mushrooms, 16 oz fresh spinach, 2 cleaned and chopped leeks, 2 tsp turmeric, and 16 oz white beans.  I only add some or all if making a more hearty main dish. Stick with less if using for cold and flu.

  1. Cut chicken into 1/2 inch cubes.  In a Dutch oven add 2 tsp olive oil and chopped chicken.
  2. Cook over medium-high heat until chicken is seared.  (I like mine golden color for flavor).
  3. Add onions, garlic, and ginger.  Reduce heat to medium.
  4. Add carrots, Italian seasoning, celery, and both black pepper and red pepper flakes if desired.
  5. Cook about 10 minutes stirring frequently.
  6. Add chicken broth.  Reduce heat to low and cover.
  7. Simmer on low heat for about 30 – 45 minutes until carrots are tender.
  8. Add cooked pasta. Cover. Let simmer 10 minutes.
If freezing put in yogurt cups or red solo cups on a sheet tray in the freezer. Once frozen remove cups and put in a gallon freezer bag. Now it’s perfectly portioned for single servings.Make extra soup, then ladle it into red Solo cups to freeze. Grab one or two cups' worth to defrost anytime you need a quick dinner.  Make extra soup, then ladle it into red Solo cups to freeze. Grab one or two cups’ worth to defrost anytime you need a quick dinner.

Family Tacos Night

Ingredients


  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 pkg taco seasoning
  • 1/4 c water
  • 1/4 medium onion diced
  • 1/4 medium green bell pepper diced
  • 1 – 2 tomatoes chopped
  • 1/2 head iceberg lettuce chopped
  • 1 pkg  flour tortillas
  • 1 pint sour cream 1 8oz jar of your favorite salsa.
  • Cheddar or Mexican blend shredded chesse
Tostitos Chunky Salsa - Mild, 15.5 Ounce  by Tostitos  Tostitos Chunky Salsa – Mild, 15.5 Ounce

Directions

  1. Brown fround beef over medium heat. Add pkg taco season and 1/4 c water. Cook another 5-7 minutes allowing water to evaporate.
  2. Cut all vegetable toppings and place in separate bowls.
  3. Open pkg of tortillas and warm for 1 minutes microwave.
  4. Leave spoons in each ingredient to add to tortillas.In our home each person layers the ingredients on the tortilla as they like it. (I like mine full of equal parts veggies and meat. Topped generously with salsa and sour cream. If available I enjoy a bit of guacamole as well.)
  5. If you fill tortilla to full, you will need a fork and plenty of napkins.
  6. Roll tortilla tucking ends as you go.  They are less likely to break or tear if warmed. 
  7. Enjoy.  We eat holding bottom firmly in place.  Be cautious when setting down or they can unroll.
  8. Juices may leak from seams so keep a napkin close by.
Mission Carb Balance Soft Taco Whole Wheat Tortillas | Low Carb, Keto, Whole Grains | High Fiber, No Sugar | Small Size | 8 Count  by Mission Foods  Mission Carb Balance Soft Taco Whole Wheat Tortillas | Low Carb, Keto, Whole Grains | High Fiber, No Sugar | Small Size | 8 Count
by Mission Foods

These are an easy substitute to go low carb or keto. 

There are so many options you can use with this basic idea. Substitute chicken, fish or steak, for ground beef.  Avocado, refried beans, black beans, corn salsa, rice, cabbage.  Any kind of cheese you like.  Or use tortilla chips, top and warn for ultimate loaded nachos.  Skip the tortillas entirely and add more lettuce for a great salad option.  These make a great party food as well.  Try some until you find your favorite.  Try a new variation for Cinco de Mayo, or make it a game day treat.  It’s really fun to try them all.

Mushroom Swiss Chicken

3 chicken breasts
1 pint mushrooms (sliced if available)
1/2 medium onion
4 Tbsp Butter
Cream of mushroom soup
Swiss cheese
1/4 cup milk or heavy cream
3 – 5 Tbsp flour to thicken sauce
1 cup white wine (we like a good pinot gregio.  Usually have a glass with this dinner.)Circulon Radiance Hard-Anodized Nonstick Covered Deep Skillet, 12-Inch, Gray  by Circulon  Circulon Radiance Hard-Anodized Nonstick Covered Deep Skillet, 12-Inch, Gray
by Circulon

  1. Pound chicken into 1/4 in thick.
  2. Add butter to medium skillet and heat on medium-high. 
  3. Sear chicken to golden color. Set aside.
  4. Add 2 tbsp more butter to the pan.
  5. Add chopped mushrooms and onions. Cook until onions are translucent.  About 7 minutes.
  6. Add Tbsps flour to butter until thick paste forms.
  7. Add white wine and cream soup. Stir until well combined and thickens.
  8. Layer chicken with swiss cheese then mushrooms and onion sauce mixture.
  9. Serve warm.

This mixture is really good as skillet dinner.  I like a good wild rice blend or egg noodles with it.  For an extra easy treat, you can make it as a casserole with noodles or rice. For low-carb and keto, switch the rice to riced cauliflower. Just cook chicken thoroughly before adding other ingredients.   Save cheese till the last 5 minutes of baking. Add a green vegetable like spinach, asparagus, green beans, brussel sprout halves, or broccoli. We like broccoli, to have a great all in one dish dinner. If recognizing, or feeding a crowd use chicken thighs and cut into bite-size pieces.

Pyrex Easy Grab Glass Bakeware and Food Storage Set (8-Piece, BPA-free)  by Pyrex  Pyrex Easy Grab Glass Bakeware and Food Storage Set (8-Piece, BPA-free)

by Pyrex

Beef Pepper Steak

Ingredients

2 lbs sirloin steak sliced ultra thin
2 medium bell peppers
1/2 onion cut into strips
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 cup beef broth
4 cups cooked rice
2 tsp olive oil
2 Tbsp cornstarch dissolved in waterCalphalon Contemporary Hard-Anodized Aluminum Nonstick Cookware, Deep Skillet, 13-inch, Black  by Calphalon  Calphalon Contemporary Hard-Anodized Aluminum Nonstick Cookware, Deep Skillet, 13-inch, Black

by Calphalon

Directions

  1. Once steak and veggies are sliced heat medium skillet on medium-high heat.
  2. Add steak. Cook 3 – 5 minutes.
  3. Add peppers and onions. Cook 2 minutes.
  4. Add soy sauce and beef broth.
  5. Add cornstarch and reduce heat to low.
  6. When sauce thickens serve warm or cool and freeze for an easy weeknight meal.  We serve over rice. Or cauliflower rice for a low carb, keto, option.
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