Recipes

Chicken with Zucchini Recipe

See below for a delicious and healthy weeknight meal recipe- and my favorite taco seasoning recipe (that I use on everything and should just make in bulk at this point).

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Chicken with Zucchini

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 bell peppers (any color), chopped
  • 1 lb (500 g) chicken, cut into 1″ (2,5 cm) pieces
  • 1 cup (175 g) corn (fresh or canned)
  • 1 14.5 oz (411 g) can diced tomatoes
  • 2 zucchini, diced
  • 1 15 oz (425 g) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup (100 g) Mexican style blend shredded cheese (usually a 4 cheese blend)
  • 1/2 (25 g) cup cilantro
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) green onions
  • taco seasoning- to taste (see below for my go-to taco seasoning recipe)

Directions:

  1. Preheat large pot on medium heat with oil. Add in the onion, garlic and bell peppers and saute for a few minutes.
  2. Push the veggies to the side of the pot and add in the chicken (seasoned with cumin, salt and pepper)- cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add corn, beans. tomatoes, zucchini and the taco seasoning to the pot. Cover and cook for 10 minutes on medium-low temperature.
  4. Sprinkle with cheese and cook covered for a few more minutes, until cheese has melted.
  5. Serve topped with chopped green onion and cilantro, with your choice of side (I like rice, because cheap).

Taco Seasoning

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp ground oregano
  • 1/2 tsp ground paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp chipotle chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground cayenne (omit if you do not like spicy- but this adds that little kick!)

Directions:

  1. Mix together!
Recipes

Black Bean Burgers with Cilantro Lime Sauce Recipe

black bean burger

This is our favorite type of burger at our house- the black bean burger! While you can serve it on buns- we love to wrap it up in some lettuce for extra crunch. This recipe makes 6 individual patties and it is great with homemade potato wedges and cilantro lime sauce. Prep the beans for this recipe at least an hour before- trust me!

Black Bean Burgers

Ingredients for burgers:

  • 2 15 oz (851 g) cans of black beans
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1/4 cup (32 g) chopped green onions
  • 3 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 2 cups (30 g) tortilla chips
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) olive oil
  • Extras: Buns or lettuce and toppings- onion, avocado, tomato, radish, etc

Directions:

  1. Drain, rinse and dry black beans on paper towels- reserve 6 tbsp of the canned black bean liquid.
  2. In a bowl, combine the flour with the black bean liquid, then add the green onions, cilantro, garlic and all of the spices.
  3. With a food processor, grind the chips until finely ground. Then add and grind the black beans until coarse.
  4. Combine the black bean mixture with the  flour and spice mixture, stir thoroughly.
  5. Heat some olive oil on a pan on medium temperature.
  6. Make 6 black bean patties- I like to use a 4″ (10 cm) circular cookie cutter to make uniform shapes.
  7. Cook patties in oil for about 3-5 minutes per side (until crisp).
  8. Serve with yummy toppings and on buns or lettuce!

Cilantro Lime Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup (57 g) mayonnaise
  • juice and zest of 1 lime
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup (15 g) cilantro, chopped
  • salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Mix all ingredients together and chill until ready to serve!
Recipes

Estonian Ground Beef Sauce Recipe

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I posted a photograph of my very Estonian dinner to my stories on Instagram and received a lot of inquiries about it, so I am posting my recipe here to share. This dish is best and most authentically served with pickles and mashed or boiled potatoes in my household.

Ingredients:

  • 1 TBSP butter
  • 1 medium onion
  • 500g or 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 TBSP flour
  • 500ml beef stock (about 2 cups- I like to use the beef bouillon cubes with water)
  • 4 TBSP sour cream
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • parsley for garnish

Directions:

  1. Heat oil or butter in pan on medium heat, then add chopped onions and cook through.
  2. Add ground beef and cook through, season with salt and pepper.
  3. Then add flour, stir in until combined, and pour in your beef stock and let simmer for about 20 minutes on medium-low heat.
  4. Finally add in the sour cream!

To make this a meal, serve with an easy side salad, pickles and potatoes. I like to throw some handfuls of quartered potatoes into some salted boiling water and forget about them as I am cooking the ground beef. Potatoes are easy, filling and very cheap!

 

Crafts · Garden ideas · Herbal

Herbal Bug Repellent Jars

_MG_6628 I found this great mini project in a book recently and I had to share with you for summertime!

Here in the middle of swampy old Florida we have a lot of mosquitos, and while a good natural bug spray will do the trick, this is another herbal way to keep the buggies away!

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You will need:

  • A jar
  • Lemon slices
  • Tea light candle
  • Fresh rosemary, lemon balm, mint, or other bug repellant herbs (citronella, basil, the list goes on- use what you have in your garden 🙂 )

Take your jar and fill it with a lemon slice and begin layering in your herbs. Then fill the jar with water and light your candle. The warmth from the candles will activate the herbs and lemon to help keep the mosquitoes at bay!

I only made one jar but a small arrangement of various sized jars would make for a wonderful centerpiece for a summer garden party.

 

Recipes

Summer Sangria Recipe

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This is my go to recipe for sangria- a Wonder House party favorite!
I like to use Winking Owl Cabernet Sauvignon (2.98$ at Aldi) for my wine.

Sangria recipe:

  • 750 ml bottle of cabernet or merlot
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 orange
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1.5 oz brandy
  • 2 cups ginger ale
  • Extra lemon and orange slices for garnish

Directions:

  1. Mix wine with sugar, fruit (juice and throw rinds in) and brandy- let sit overnight in refrigerator.
  2. Remove fruit rinds and add ginger ale.
  3. Serve with ice and fruit slice garnishes.
Recipes

Zucchini Boats and Sweet Potato Wedges

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Zucchini Boats Ingredients:

  • 5 medium zucchini
  • 16 oz package of pork sausage
  • 1 red bell pepper (chopped)
  • 1 green bell pepper (chopped)
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp basil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 15 oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 8 oz package of shredded mozzarella cheese

To make the zucchini boats:

  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. Cut zucchini in half and hollow out the inside, still leaving a bit of flesh, and place them on a baking sheet.
  3. Brown the sausage in a pot and remove when cooked.
  4. Use the drippings from the sausage to cook the garlic, onions, peppers. Add the salt, pepper, basil and oregano to the pot and cook until onions are soft.
  5. Add the can of diced tomatoes and the cooked sausage back to the pot and simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
  6. Fill the zucchini with the meat mixture and top with shredded cheese. Bake for about 30 minutes.

Sweet Potato Wedges Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs sweet potatoes (sliced into wedges)
  • 1 tbsp corn starch
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 1/2 tbsp olive oil

To make the potato wedges:

  1. Preheat oven to 425F and place your baking sheet in the oven to preheat as well.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together cornstarch, salt, pepper, paprika and garlic powder.
  3. In a large bowl, place potato wedges and toss with olive oil, then pour the cornstarch mix over the wedges to coat them evenly.
  4. Take heated baking sheet out of the oven, add potato wedges and bake for 15 minutes.
  5. Remove sheet from oven and toss, then place back into oven for about 10 more minutes.

    I like to add some salt and pepper on top of the cooked wedges to give them more kick 🙂

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halloween · Recipes

Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipe

Super easy peasy pumpkin cheesecake recipe!

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Ingredients for crust:

  • 190 grams of graham crackers or tea biscuits
  • 5 tbsp butter (room temp)
  • 1 tbsp sugar

Ingredients for cake:

  • 24 oz cream cheese
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1 cup pumpkin
  • 3 eggs
  • whipped cream (I make my own- heavy whipping cream with confectioners sugar)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Crush your graham crackers and mix with the butter and 1 tbsp of sugar. Press into springform pan and bake for 5 min. Set aside.
  3. To make cheesecake, cream the cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth.
  4. Then add eggs, pumpkin and the spices until creamy.
  5. Pour into crust and bake for about 60 min.
  6. Allow cheesecake to come to room temperature before placing into refrigerator.
  7. Allow cake to set overnight and decorate with whipped cream!

I make my own whipped cream, I don’t like the pre-packaged stuff. I use a small carton of heavy whipping cream and add a tsp of confectioners sugar and let my mixer beat until stiff. Then you can put into a piping bag with a fancy tip and go to town!

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halloween · Recipes

Cider Spice Cake

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This was my first adventure into baking with cake flour! I was very pleased with the final product, despite the fact that this is such a simple cake (I am not a vanilla and buttercream kind of girl) but I had to give this cider spice cake a try because it just sounded so heavenly.  I think this would make the perfect fall birthday cake for your loved one, just add candles! 😉

Cider Syrup:

1 qt apple cider

Cake:

1 cup unsalted butter (room temp)
2 cups light brown sugar
6 eggs, divided (room temp)
3 cups cake flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp apple pie spice
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup cider syrup, chilled

Cider Buttercream Frosting:

1 cup unsalted butter (room temp)
2 lbs confectioners sugar
1/2 cup cider syrup, chilled
6 tbsp half and half, divided

Cider syrup:

  1. Bring cider to a boil over medium-high heat, boil down for about 40 minutes and then let cool.

Cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Then butter and flour two round cake pans lined with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, mix butter and brown sugar until fluffy.
  3. Add egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  4. In a second bowl, mix flour, baking powder, apple pie spice and salt.
  5. Then add the flour mix to the butter mix, alternating with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour. Then beat in the vanilla.
  6. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form.
  7. Stir in 1/4th of the egg whites into the batter. Then fold in the other 3/4th’s into the batter gently.
  8. Divide the batter between the 2 pans and cook for about 25 min (depending on your oven, make sure you do not over bake).
  9. Let cakes cool and remove from pans after about 10 minutes.
  10. Drizzle cider syrup on top of both cakes (couple teaspoons- don’t soak it) and let the cakes cool completely.

Buttercream Frosting:

  1. In a large bowl, beat butter until creamy and then add sugar, syrup and 4 tbsp of half and half.
  2. Beat in 2 more tbsp of half and half if proper consistency is not yet reached.

‘Assembly:

  1. Place 1 cake layer on plate, and cover the top of the layer in frosting.
  2. Add second layer on top and add the rest of the frosting on top and along the sides.
  3. Garnish with more cider syrup and nuts!

 

cider

halloween · Recipes

Pumpkin Bundt Cake Recipe

My first post restoring my blog was obviously going to be about cake! So I really want to share this recipe I found and tested for you to try at home too 🙂
bundt

I don’t want to say that this is the BEST pumpkin cake recipe but everyone that received a piece gave rave reviews! The pumpkin cake is topped with a toffee sauce and chopped walnuts. The ingredients are simple and straightforward and it is the perfect dessert for a fall dinner party.

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups unsalted butter (room temp)
2 cups sugar
4 eggs (room temp)
3 cups flour
1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
15 oz can of pumpkin
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 cup light brown sugar
handful of chopped walnuts

Cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Butter and flour a bundt cake pan.
  2. In a large bowl, beat 1 cup butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, beating well after each addition.
  3. In a second bowl, whisk together flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  4. Slowly add the flour mix to the butter mix, alternating with pumpkin, but beginning and ending with flour. Make sure to beat just until ingredients are combined.
  5. Add in vanilla and pour batter into the cake pan.
  6. Let cook for 50 min-1 hour (depending on your oven). Then let cake cool and remove from pan.

Sauce:

  1. To make the sauce, bring the heavy whipping cream, brown sugar and 1/4 cup butter to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently.
  2. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until thickened, about 15 minutes.  Then pour this into a glass measuring cup and put it in the fridge to cool. Once cooled, pour over cake and top with chopped walnuts.

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Recipes

Pumpkin Rum Cocktail #2

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This next Captain Morgan Jack-O’Blast recipe is made with Rumchata whipped cream! Originally found the recipe for the Pumpkin Rum Shooters here.

Ingredients:

  • 3 oz Jack-O’Blast
  • 3 oz heavy cream
  • 1 oz Rumchata

Directions:

  • Whip heavy cream with the Rumchata until fluffy
  • Pour Jack-O’Blast into 2 shot glasses
  • Pour the Rumchata whipped cream over the rum using the back of a spoon to carefully layer it on top
  • Serve!