Thursday, May 24, 2012

Nutella Coffee Creamer

Oh yes. You read that right. I think nutella should be a option for everything. :)

Why not make your own creamer and know EXACTLY what the ingredients are??

We usually do Vietnamese coffee style creamer. We do 1 part sweetened condensed milk to 2 parts whole milk. (You can use cream or half and half if you prefer). I just use the SCM can to measure the milk. Give it a shot sometime.

Well, this is the next level of greatness.

Nutella Coffee Creamer


1 can sweetened condensed milk
3.5 cups (2 "cans") Whole milk (or cream, or half and half)
3 tbsp nutella.

Put in a lidded container and shake to combine!

Good for about a 7-10 days.

Use about 2 parts iced coffee to 1 part creamer.

Shake well before each use.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Asparagus and Lemon Pasta Salad

I'm baaaaack!

After a few weeks of PCSing (Permanent Change of Station to you civies out there) and unpacking, I am officially cooking again!

And I am in Florida. So that means SUMMER FOOD.

Starting with Pasta salad!

Asparagus and Lemon Pasta Salad
Adapted from The Neely's 


  • 1 lb pasta (I used these little shell pastas made with carrots and tomato)
  • 1 lb asparagus, ends cut off and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • black pepper
  • salt
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 tbsp dried dill
  • 1 cup frozen peas, defrosted
  • 6 ounces crumbled feta cheese
Make the pasta per package instructions. Rinse with cold water and drain.

Meanwhile, bring a pot of salted water to boil. Add asparagus.Boil 2 minutes. Drain and put in a bowl of salted ice water.

Whisk together mustard, garlic, oil, dill, and lemon juice. Add S&P as needed.

Combine pasta, asparagus, dressing, tomatos, peas, and cheese.

Serve cold or room temp.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Taco Stuffed Shells

A nice change from the regular taco night. 

Taco Stuffed Shells
Adapted from Blogchef


alb lean ground beef
1 package taco seasoning or cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, and onion powder.

4 oz 1/3rd fat cream cheese
18 large pasta shells
1 cup salsa
1 cup taco sauce
2 cups mexican mix shredded cheese

Taco fixings: Sour cream, lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, etc

Preheat to 350

Cook the shells as per box directions.

Meanwhile, brown meat in a large saucepan. Follow taco seasoning directions, or just add spices to taste

Add the cream cheese. Melt and mix well. Take off the heat. Let cool.

Coat the bottom of a 9x13 with salsa

Stuff the shells and line up in pan.

Top with taco sauce.

Cover with tin foil and cook 30 minutes.

Uncover and top generously with cheese.

Cook 15 more minutes

Serve with your favorite taco fixings!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Smashed and Roasted Baby Potatoes

These have the yummy crispy roasted flavor and texture but also a soft center. So good


2 lbs small potatoes
salt and pepper
Dried parsley

Boil the potatoes until fork tender.

Drain and turn onto a well oiled baking pan.

Use a fork to gently smash the potatoes.

Drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and parsley

Bake in a 400 oven for 15+ minutes until golden brown on the edges

Friday, May 4, 2012

Chocolate and Cream Cheese Muffin Top Cookies

I saw these amazing muffin tops at the grocery store bakery the other day. I figured they couldn't be too hard. Well, come to find out, you actually need a pan. Yeah, I wasn't patient enough to wait to get a pan. So I improvised. I just put the batter on the sheet pan. They spread out a bit, so make sure you give plenty of room, but they turned out just fine.

Chocolate and Cream Cheese Muffin Top Cookies
From the muffin top recipe in the Prepared Pantry


1 1/2 cups flour 
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa

1 tsp baking soda 
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup water
1/3 cup oil 

1 tsp vinegar 
1 tbsp vanilla 

Cream cheese filling:

4oz of 1/3rd fat cream cheese
1/2 large egg, whisked (whisk and eyeball 1/2 of it)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Preheat to 375.

Mix the dry ingredients in one bowl and the wet in another. Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the wet. Mix until just combined. 

Spray a sheet pan (or, better yet, invest in a Silpat)

Use a 1/4 cup to scoop mounds of batter onto the sheet pan. Use two pans, these guys need room.

Mix the cream cheese, egg, and sugar. Fold in the chips.

Places 4 tsps of the cream cheese mixture on each muffin top.

Bake 25 minutes, or until done. Let sit on the pan for 20 minutes

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Pork Chops with a Bourbon Mushroom Sauce

This sauce is divine. Its creamy and mushroomy and amazing. The crispy pork chops go really well with it.

Pork Chops with a Bourbon Mushroom Sauce
Adapted from Simply Recipes


1 tbsp oil
1 tbsp butter
1 lb sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup cream
1/4 cup bourbon whiskey
salt and pepper

4 center cut pork chops
1 egg
2 tbsp water
2 cups panko bread crumbs
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 1/2 tsp onion powder
salt and pepper
2 tbsp oil
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil

In a large skillet, heat the butter and oil over med heat.

Add the mushrooms and onion. Cook 10-15 minutes until well browned

Add the garlic and wine. Scrape all the brown bits off the bottom. Let simmer 5 minutes.

Add chicken stock and whiskey. Let boil until reduced 2/3rds

Add cream and let simmer until sauce is thickened, a few minutes

Meanwhile, heat another skillet on medium with butter and oil.

Whisk the egg and water.

Mix the bread crumbs, garlic, onion, and salt and pepper.

Dip pork chops in flour, then egg, then bread crumbs. 

Cook pork chops on each side for 4 minutes. Flip again, reduce heat to med low, cover, and cook 5 more minutes.

Right before serving, mix basil into the sauce and serve with chops.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

40 Clove Garlic Chicken

Ok, this may sound like a LOT of garlic. But the garlic roasts, and it mellows and sweetens and becomes heavenly...Trust me.

Chicken can be kinda bland and ho hum. This chicken is cooked in 40+ cloves of garlic, wine, butter, and olive oil. It has flavor... Big time

You can use whatever type of chicken you want. This is my go to recipe when thighs are on sale

40 Clove Garlic Chicken
Adapted from BarefootContessa


3 heads of garlic,peeled. (or buy it pre peeled! WORTH it this time around)
8 (or more) bone in, skin on chicken thighs
salt and pepper
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 cups white wine
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves (or 1/4 tsp dried thyme)
2 tbsp flour

  • 2 tbsp heavy cream

Dry the chicken well. Coat generously with salt and pepper. Both sides

Add the butter an oil to a large pot (or Dutch oven) on medium high heat

Add the chicken, skin side down, it batches. Brown well on each side. About 3-5 minutes each. 

Remove chicken. 

Add garlic to oil and lower heat to medium. Cook 5-10 minutes stirring often until garlic is brown.

Add the wine and bring to boil. Be sure to scrape off all the brown bits on the bottom.

Add the chicken and thyme.

Cover and simmer 30 minutes.

Remove chicken. Cover with aluminum foil to keep warm.

Take out 1/2 cup of the sauce. Add flour. Whisk well and return to the pot. 

Add the cream and cook 3 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Pour over chicken and serve hot

Cloves are good smushed into a nice crusty bread

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Steak with Veggie Tomato Pasta

This pasta is so good. And different. You have a nice steak that is tender and flavorful. A little goes a long way so its not too terribly pricey. There are lots of layers of flavor. Lots of veggies and textures. So good.

You can easily substitute fresh green beans for the asparagus.

Steak with Veggie Tomato Pasta


2-3 cups uncooked pasta. 
1- 1 1/2 lb boneless beef sirloin steak
1 lb asparagus, cut into 2 inch pieces
2 medium onions, thin sliced
1 1/2 cups beef broth, divided
1 cup tomato puree
2 tbsp fresh chopped basil
3 tbsp chopped sun dried tomatoes, patted dry
2 garlic cloves, minced
salt and pepper

Cook the pasta per instructions.

Trim the fat off the steak

Cut beef (with grain) to 2 inch strips. Cut against the grain into 1/8in slices. Set aside

Heat large skillet over medium high heat

Add asparagus, onion, and 1 cup broth. Cook 5-7 minutes until broth evaporates. (turn heat higher if needed)

Remove veggies from skillet. Add beef. Cook until evenly browned. (2 minutes)

Add back in the veggies, the remaining broth, the remaining ingredients. Cook 2 minutes, stirring often.