Monday, June 27, 2016

Oriental Green Beans with Mushrooms and Almonds

My planters are starting to produce veggies and these Oriental Green Beans with Mushrooms and Almonds were number one on my list of new things to try. They did not disappoint! Such great flavor and I loved the little crunch from the celery and almonds. If you're looking for a different side dish I think you'll like this one folks.
Pressure Cooker option: Place beans in a steamer basket, add 2 C water and cook them for 2 minutes, automatic release. 

Wanted to share a quick pic of some of the planters. These beans will be done and get pulled this week, then I'll add more seeds. 
There is another pot just beginning to make buds. I love that 20¢ packs of seeds will give me beans all summer long:@)
The nasturtiums were really pretty this year too and I had fun adding petals to salads.

Oriental Green Beans with Mushrooms and Almonds-from The Iowa Housewife
3 C green beans, 1" pieces
1 tsp salt
1 C reserved liquid from cooking the beans
1 1/2 C celery, sliced
3 Tblsp oil-I used vegetable oil
4 oz canned or jarred mushrooms, drained well
1 Tblsp cornstarch
1 beef bouillon cube
1 Tblsp soy sauce
1/2 C slivered almonds-I sprinkled in some sliced almonds
  1. Cover beans with water, add salt and boil beans until tender. Drain beans reserving liquid. (I steamed my beans.)
  2. In large skillet, cook celery in oil until tender, add mushrooms to heat through. 
  3. Mix reserved liquid with cornstarch, bouillon, and soy sauce. Pour into skillet, add beans. Cook until thickened.
  4. Stir in almonds and serve.
Enjoy those first garden beans and have a happy day:@)

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Went Junkin' -Red, White and Blue Finds

One of the thrift stores set up a Christmas section and I found a few fun ornaments for my Red, White and Blue tree:@) The Santa is Lenox, I love the sentiment and it was $2. The Liberty Bell is extra fun for this Philly Girl (unfortunately the crack is on the undecorated side... might have to work on that). And the baseball player was just too cute to leave behind. Both were 50¢.
I hope you're finding some fun things too and all of your 4th of July plans are falling into place!

 Have a great weekend:@)

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Steak and Mushroom Stuffed Jalapenos with Steak Sauce Drizzle

The 'penos are looking plump and happy again at the produce store so I treated myself to some Steak and Mushroom Stuffed Jalapenos with Steak Sauce Drizzle. This was a great use for leftover beef, I happened to have a bit of tenderloin but any cut that's been cooked and is tender would work fine. Same with the mushrooms, you can use sauteed leftovers or open a can/jar, just drain them well and pat dry.
Cold adult beverage optional, but highly recommended:@)

It's been a while since I've shown this pic, this is what my jalapenos look like when I cook with them folks. Cleaned well!
I like the flavor but want to tame the heat.

Steak and Mushroom Stuffed Jalapenos with Steak Sauce Drizzle
  1. Filling is approximate equal parts: Diced steak, chopped mushrooms, cream cheese and mozzarella. 
  2. Slice jalapenos in half, clean out the seeds and membranes.
  3. Stuff with filling.
  4. Top with panko breadcrumbs if desired-I desired:@)
  5. Bake at 375 degrees for 15-18 minutes and remove from oven.
  6. Heat broiler to high, return peppers to oven for a few seconds until tops brown up nicely-watch closely!
  7. Either drizzle with your favorite steak sauce or serve sauce in a dipping bowl. My favorite is A1 Bold and Spicy.
Eat well and have a happy day!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Tomato and Black Olive Salad

I'd been munching on grape tomatoes and didn't have enough for Sunday dinner, spying some leftover olives in the fridge solved that problem:@) This Tomato and Black Olive Salad is another quick pickled side dish that's simply flavored with oregano and olive oil. This was the first time I've added olives to our pickled veggie salad-but it won't be the last, we really enjoyed it.

Tomato and Black Olive Salad-recipe easily halved
pint of grape or cherry tomatoes, cut in half
black olives, about half a can, drained and cut in half
1/4 C onion, sliced or diced-more or less, depending on how much your crowd likes onion
2 Tblsp extra virgin olive oil
2 Tblsp red wine vinegar
1 Tblsp sugar
1/2 tsp oregano
pinch of salt, few grinds of pepper
~Mix everything and let marinate for a few hours, stirring often (I just flip a Lock and Lock bowl each time I pass it).

Let's use up those leftovers and have a happy day:@)

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Sunday, June 19, 2016

Patriotic Cream Cheese Decorated Message Browies

These Cream Cheese Decorated Message Brownies are a super simple, fun idea to spruce up a boxed brownie mix for the 4th of July.  All you need is cream cheese, powdered sugar, gel food dye and a couple piping bags. I did add a tip to the bags but that really isn't necessary. Write whatever you'd like, or let your inner-artist go wild... They are after all, your brownies:@)

I had grandiose visions of paisley and swirls... 
My reality was squiggles and dots:@)
As a point of reference, I only used less than half of the mixture as written below. 
Also added some red, white and blue sprinkles. Every festive occasion calls for some sprinkles...

Cream Cheese Mixture for Decorating Brownies
4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1 C powdered sugar
enough food coloring gel to make the color you desire
~Mix well, add to piping bag and decorate the top of the brownie batter. Decorate before you bake the brownies per the package directions.

Let's show our colors and have a happy day!

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Mix It Up Monday
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Thursday, June 16, 2016

Zoodles-N-Noodles with Slivered Garlic, Roasted Red Peppers and Ricotta

While this Zoodles-N-Noodles with Slivered Garlic, Roasted Red Peppers and Ricotta won't win any awards for fancy food styling, it did make a very good lunch. And if you want to make it a heartier meal, I could see adding chicken, sausage or cannellini beans. And maybe even bacon, yep, bacon would be very good:@) My inspiration was seeing a leftover jar of peppers in the fridge, this was a very tasty and colorful meal folks.
Keep zoodles in mind as zucchini plants everywhere are beginning to over produce, it's a fun way to use up extras. You don't need a big expensive spiralizer, mine was $2.88 at Walmart and I've been having fun with it. Tip: If hand washing, an old toothbrush works like a charm.

Zoodles-N-Nooles with Slivered Garlic, Roasted Red Peppers and Ricotta
For each person/serving:
Spaghetti for one (about a quarter sized handful of dry), cooked and drained
Olive oil, a couple tsp
One clove garlic, sliced thin
Small zucchini or half of a medium sized one, spiralized
About a half of a roasted red pepper (or more if desired), drained and sliced into strips
1/2 tsp Italian Seasoning
1/4 C Ricotta
S&P to taste
  1. Cook spaghetti per package directions, drain but reserve some of the cooking water.
  2. Over medium heat add olive oil and garlic to skillet, cook for a minute or two, stirring constantly.
  3. Add zoodles, peppers, Italian Seasoning, pinch of salt and some pepper. Cook for a couple minutes or until zucchini is heated through. 
  4. Add Ricotta and stir until it melts. Add a little of the pasta cooking water if needed to loosen the cheese (I did not need it).
  5. Add spaghetti to pan, heat through and serve immediately.
Eat well and have a happy day:@)

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Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Patriotic Wreath Update - $1.47 Decoration

I picked this wreath up on clearance last year and knew it would need a little somethin'-somethin'... A pack of holiday necklaces for $1.47 from Walmart were a great size and really perked it up! I'm even fond of the necklaces hanging down in the back.
 I think it turned out cute and didn't even have to heat up the glue gun... I  like that in a project:@)
Total wreath cost = $4.47

Show your colors and have a sparkly day:@)