I saw a friend post the most amazing photo of something she’d made and I asked her to share the recipe with me.  Then I asked if I could share it with you!  That made me realize I’d love to share several of my friend’s amazing tastes, so I asked for more submissions. 

 

August is a great month to try out something new from the kitchen of a friend…or two. 

 

One friend (well, my daughter) is a mom with three littles, and she lets them help out in the kitchen while she creates and tastes! 

 

The second friend has a little boy who's the cutest!  She's a great cook and offered to share, as well. 

 

The third recipe is from a friend I've never met in person, but we are best buds on Facebook and in our hearts!  Her tomato tart was what inspired this month's heading!

The fourth recipe is from a wonderful friend that serves her large family well, even with all of its challenges.  I quite admire her!

Authentic Street Tacos - Lindsey Fultz 

 

This is a super quick meal, as it can be prepared in 30 minutes. You’ll just need a large skillet or wok for the meat, and a small skillet where you can warm the tortillas.  Enjoy!

 

  • Mission street tacos Mini corn tortillas 

  • HEB Mi Tienda Seasoned Diced Beef 

  • Half white onion, diced 

  • Cilantro, chopped

  • Lime wedges 

  • HEB That Green Sauce - salsa 

 

Place about half of the seasoned beef in a wok or large skillet, heat on high, and sear the meat. (You don’t want to do all of it at once, because it won’t sear with the whole package.) Set aside first half, and sear the second half.

 

Once all sides are browned, return the first half to finish cooking for a few more minutes. It shouldn’t take long, since the meat is diced.  Test cut one piece to check to your desired doneness. 

 

Warm the corn tortillas in another skillet to cook them thoroughly, flipping on each side on high heat until brown marks appear lightly, and tortilla is more flexible. 

 

Assemble your tacos with the seasoned beef.  Squeeze juice from 1 lime wedge over it, top with onion, and then cilantro. Top with green salsa, to your own taste.

PULLED PORK PASTRY PUFF - Kamrin Wolfe

 

INGREDIENTS:

 

  • 1 (17.3-oz) package puff pastry, defrosted

  • 3/4 pound pulled pork

  • 3/4 cup BBQ sauce

  • 1-1/4 cups shredded cheddar cheese

  • 1 egg, beaten

  • 1 Tbsp water

INSTRUCTIONS:

 

Preheat oven to 400ºF. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside. Unfold pastry sheets. Cut each sheet into 9 squares. Toss pulled pork with BBQ sauce. Arrange pulled pork and cheese down center of the pastry squares. Fold two opposite corners of each square over the filling and press edges to seal. Place on prepared baking sheet. Combine egg and water. Brush each pastry with egg wash. 

 

Bake 15-18 minutes, until golden brown.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

My tips:

- make sure you don't cut the squares too big; mine tasted great, but ended up being rather large

- I also used the pastry wash to help seal the edges together

- buy pre-cooked packaged meat that you can easily heat up; this will cut the time in half

- add peppers or other seasonings of choice to pulled pork for added flavor

- be sure you roll these up tight or they will flatten out and sink slightly after you pull them out of the oven

IN THE KITCHEN ◽ TIPS
by Marcy Lytle
Make and Share
by Marcy Lytle

Rather than share recipes this month, I decided to share my faves in the kitchen.  There are always new products that are advertised around the holidays and then we buy them, and they end up in that junk drawer – at the bottom – never to be used.  Mostly, it’s because they aren’t that great, they are too difficult to maneuver, or time-consuming, or just odd!  However, there are some things in my drawers and on my shelves that I use over and over again, because I love them! So, why not share?

A tiny colander – I love having a few of these for holding fruit – either in the fridge or out on the counter.  And since my kitchen is orange/gray I love this tiny one for holding cuties!

Spreaders – I have seasonal spreaders, but I absolutely love this new set I found at World Market.  The colors are fantastic, and they are heavy duty.  They’re great for spreading jam, or butter, or whatever!  Just google and search for some you love…

 

A ladybug timer – My oven timer is never loud enough, and sometimes I just need a timer for other things.  Sure, I use my phone quite often, but this ladybug – she’s SO cute!

 

Tiny mitts – A friend made these for me, but then I looked on line at christmas and found more on Etsy!  They’re great because they have a magnet inside, they’re tiny for grabbing items from the toaster oven, and they come in such cute fabric choices!

A salt/pepper box – One of my longstanding faves!  Kosher salt in one side, ground pepper in the other – for cooking and pinching – and looking pretty on the counter…

 

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It’s December, and all of us are spinning, trying to wrap our heads around the fact that Christmas is so near!  Baking and cooking are always part of the holiday hoopla, so why not incorporate it into gift giving as well?   It’s fun to give something homemade.  So while you’re making a batch of something, creating a board, or setting out a dinner for your family, why not make two – one to give away!?

The picture here is a Funnel Cake breakfast with strawberries, a great idea for Christmas morning!  And then have the gift set under the tree for each family! 

Here are some more ideas:

Granola

This recipe is one of our favorites, but we have lots of recipes we love.  We make it about once every other week, and store it in these glass jars that sit on a tray, on the counter.  It’s easy to find these jars, fill them with the granola, and give one away to your kids or a neighbor!

Ingredients:

  • 4 c old fashioned oats

  • ½ c chopped pecans

  • ½ c chopped walnuts

  • ½ c ground flax seed

  • 2 t ground cinnamon

  • 1/3 c canola oil

  • 2/3 c pure maple syrup

  • 1 t maple flavoring (I didn’t have this, just omitted it)

  • ¼ t salt

Preheat oven to 300 degrees, line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Mix oats, nuts, seed and cinnamon in a large bowl.  In a small bowl, stir oil, syrup, flavoring and salt, then pour over the oat mixture and stir to coat.

Spread the mixture evenly onto the baking sheet, and bake about 40 minutes til lightly browned.  Let it cool before breaking into chunks.  Store in an air-tight container.

Chicken Gnocchi Pesto Soup (serves 4)

We just made this recently and it was so easy, and so good.  I made the pesto ahead of time (see below) and then the soup was put together in no time at all.  Just package up the ingredients, add a couple of soup bowls or a big soup spoon and a tea towel, the recipe – and another gift is done! (Obviously, just wrap up the non-refrigerated items – they can buy the rest!)

Ingredients:

  • 1 jar (15 oz) roasted garlic Alfredo sauce

  • 2 c water

  • 2 c rotisserie chicken, roughly chopped

  • 1 t Italian seasoning

  • ¼ t salt

  • ¼ t pepper

  • 1 pkg (16 oz) potato gnocchi

  • 3 c coarsely chopped fresh spinach

  • 4 t prepared pesto

 

In a large saucepan, combine the first 6 ingredients and bring to a gentle boil, stir occasionally.  Stir in gnocchi and spinach, and cook until gnocchi float, about 5 minutes. Top each serving with a dollop of pesto.


 

Roasted Walnut Pesto

This is the pesto I made for the above soup.  It makes enough to fill a small jar.  Just fill it, seal it, wrap with a bow – and keep in fridge until you’re ready to give it away.  It’s green.  And with a red bow, it just speaks Merry Christmas!

  • ½ c walnuts

  • 2 c fresh basil, packed leaves

  • 1/3 c Pecorino Romano Cheese

  • ¼ c Parmesan cheese, grated

  • 2 garlic cloves

  • ½ c extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 T fresh lemon juice

  • ¼ c fresh Italian parsley leaves, packed

 

Toast walnuts til just fragrant.  Place all ingredients in food processor and blend til smooth.  Season with salt and pepper. 

Marble Cake

They used to sell this at Starbucks, and a family member really loved it.  So, I found a similar recipe on line, and it worked – and was quite easy to make!  It’s a great loaf to set on a cutting board, wrap up and give away.  It needs to be eaten right away, so that it doesn’t dry out.  So tasty!

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 c unsalted butter at room temp

  • 1 c sugar

  • 3 eggs

  • 2 c flour

  • 1 ½ t baking powder

  • ½ t baking soda

  • ¼ t kosher salt

  • ¼ c  milk

  • 2 t vanilla extract

  • 3 T unsweetened cocoa powder + 1 T milk

Preheat oven to 390 degrees.  Grease a 9X5 loaf pan with butter, then dust with flour.

Cream butter and sugar til light and fluffy.  Add in eggs and mix. 

In another bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Combine with the wet ingredients and mix.  Add in the milk, and mix til just incorporated.

Divide batter into two bowls.  In the first bowl stir in the vanilla.  In the second bowl, stir in the cocoa powder and 1 T milk.

Using a large spoon, dollop about 1/3 of the vanilla batter into pan and spread evenly.  Using another spoon, dollop the chocolate batter in the middle, pushing down slightly and leaving some vanilla visible on the edges.  Repeat with vanilla and chocolate as before (always leaving some vanilla visible on edges).  Run a sharp knife through batter in swirling motion.

Bake for 10 minutes, then lower heat to 350, and bake 40 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean.  Transfer to a cooling rack for 15 min at least, then remove from pan and slice.

 

A Board of Goodies

This is a fun gift, or a fun presentation for the family get together.  Use a large seasonal plate as the base, make a cheese ball for the center, add grapes, nuts, crackers and dark chocolate. So good and fun! 

 

This would be a great gift to give someone as well – include the plate, crackers, nuts and chocolate – and let them provide the grapes!

 

WHICH ONE WILL YOU TRY? DON'T FORGET TO CHECK OUT OUR OTHER TIPS STORIES.

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