IN THE KITCHEN ◽ TIPS
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
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
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
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.
- 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
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…
These pouches – I found these magnetic pouches for the fridge at Target. I bought three and hung them in a column on the side of the fridge, mostly for holding notepads and pens. I change out notepads each month! Not sure Target has them anymore…but check Amazon.
Utensil organizer – It doesn’t take up much space, there are lots of cute options, and it holds those items I use over and over again – so it’s a quick grab and a quick put away…
The zester – I realize a lot of people don’t have one of these! I love to zest lemon and lime for dishes – and I hold it with the grate on the bottom, so I can see how much zesting is accumulating on top. Works!
-Mix 25ml (1/4 cup) of oil, lemon juice, salt, coconut sugar and chopped chili in the small bowl. (I put them in the covered jam jar and shake). This is your salad dressing.
-Cook the sweet potatoes chunks in the microwave for 4 minutes.
-Put the rest of the oil into the frying pan. Then add the cooked sweet potatoes, bouillon powder, a pinch of salt and pepper. Keep stirring until the sweet potatoes are caramelized and crispy on the outside.
-Put the crispy sweet potatoes, salad dressing, red onion, avocado and coriander into the big mixing bowl. Fold the ingredients together.
-Serve Vegan Thai Salad immediately if you like a warm salad. Otherwise, it is just as lovely if you serve it cold.
-Do not overcook the sweet potatoes in the microwave as it might be too soft to fry.
-Keep an eye on the pan whilst frying the sweet potatoes chunks as they are easily burnt.
-Vegan Thai Salad can be served as a side salad or main course.
IN THE KITCHEN ◽ TIPS
Loaded with Flavor
by Marcy Lytle
Recently, we’ve enjoyed some new dishes that are just so good they make my mouth water as I type! I’m not a fan of super time consuming recipes, unless they’re fantastic and worth it. However, the following weren’t hard, they were surprisingly tasty, and we will enjoy them again and again! Great recipes to add to your summer table…
Oh my gosh, this was good. And it came together so quickly! I will keep this recipe around and make it over and over again. The flavors are delicious!
Kosher salt and black pepper
Pasta (Spagetti or whatever long pasta you have)
4 cloves garlic
2 C grape or cherry tomatoes
1 can quartered artichoke hearts (14oz)
1 can whole pitted black olives (6oz)
3 T olive oil
Red pepper flakes (optional)
¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan
¼ c fresh Italian parsley chopped
Bring a large pot of boiling salted water to a boil and cook pasta al dente. Reserve ½ cup of the pasta water, then drain.
Prep your veggies: mince the garlic, halve the tomatoes, drain and chop the artichokes, drain and slice olives in half.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over med-hi heat, add the tomatoes, garlic and 1 t salt, pepper and red pepper flakes (1/4 tsp), cook and stir til garlic is fragrant and tomatoes break down, about 1-2 minutes.
Add pasta to skillet and toss, add artichokes and olives. Drizzle lemon juice over the pasta and continue tossing and cooking for 1-2 minutes till warmed thru. Add pasta water if needed.
Taste and adjust the S&P as desired. Remove from heat and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, toss once more and enjoy!
Cauliflower Kale Rice with Fajita Veggies
We had this for lunch, and the rice was amazing (be sure it’s dry and pulsed in batches per instruction). I ate every bite in my bowl, and also enjoyed a few tortilla chips with it, as well!
1 can black or pinto beans
1 red, 1 yellow pepper, ½ red onion, ½ yellow onion
4 cups cauliflower florets
1 bunch kale, thinly sliced
1 T olive oil
One avocado mashed with S*P and lime juice.
Make sure cauliflower is dry, and place in food processor in small batches (removing after each one) and pulse til it’s like rice (2-3 pulses – don’t overpulse. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and add kale, saute til wilted. Add the cauliflower and saute about 5 minutes, season with salt, pepper and lemon juice.
In a skillet saute the veggies and season with S&P and lime juice, remove and then heat the beans in the same skillet.
To make your bowl, just place piles of each group, add a lime wedge, and you’re done!
I love hummus, but this recipe is like a hummus salad – perfect for a picnic – and filling! It’s gorgeous in color and HUGE in taste!
For the hummus:
1 15 oz garbanzo beans, drained and peeled
½ cup tahini
3 T fresh lemon juice
3 small cloves garlic
¾ T kosher salt
Water as needed
For the topping:
1 ½ c cherry tomatoes, quartered
4 persian cucumbers diced
¼ med red onion diced
½ lemon juiced
2 T finely chopped herbs like parsley, mint, chives for garnish
In a food processor, pulse the chickpeas by themselves about 1 minute, scrape down sides and pulse again for consistency. Add tahini, lemon juice, garlic and salt and blend til smooth. Drizzle in 1 T water at a time til you get a smooth creamy texture. Taste and adjust seasonings.
To serve, tops with all the toppings, drizzle with olive oil and serve with pita chips. (We enjoyed it with carrots and wheat crackers.)
These are delicious and easy to make and share with friends! The recipe makes a lot of these, especially if you use the mini muffin tins! And you’ll want to drizzle icing over and over the tops, until it’s all gone! We plated these and left on neighbors’ doorsteps.
1 box yellow cake mix (and ingredients listed on cake box)
1 ½ boxes confectioners sugar
Make the icing first: lightly grate rinds from oranges and lemons (don’t go too deep – the white part will be bitter). Squeeze the juice from the lemons and oranges in the bowl as well. Whisk in the sugar until smooth.
Make the cakes: preheat the oven to 350. Make cake according to box instruction. Spray mini muffin tins with non-stick cooking spray, fill halfway up with batter. Bake for 12 minutes til done. While the cakes are hot, dunk each one into the icing and set on wire rack to drain off excess juice.
Once glaze hardens, they’re ready to eat!
Tips: place foil under the racks while you dip and drain, and scoop with a spoon the excess and drizzle back on top of cakes. I drizzled about 3-4 coats, as there is lots of the icing!