Weeknight Fix: Gnocchi with Sausage

IMG_9141As I much as I love cooking, when I get home from work I just don’t have the energy to put a considerable amount of energy into dinner.I’ll opt for one pot meal or something pretty easy to bake. Although I like simplicity,I also like variety.

As much as I love pasta, its always nice to switch things up in the pasta family. Gnocchi is an awesome switch taking into account the 2 min cooking time!

I sauteed some sausage, garlic, and onions and made a light tomato sauce to just coat the gnocchi, tossed with some fresh parsley, a delicious dinner is ready in no time.

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What you need:

  • 1 16oz pkg potato gnocchi
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 2 sweet italian sausages, sliced crosswise
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp parsley, chopped
  • 40z tomato puree
  • salt and pepper to taste

Cook gnocchi as directed on pkg, boil in salted water for 2 mins. Drain and lightly drizzle with olive oil.

In a sautee pan, cook sausages on med-high heat, until halfway cooked. Remove from pan.Add onions in olive oil on med-high, ccok until onions are tender and translucent. Add tomato puree, garlic,sausages and parsley. Simmer 5 -7 mins until sausage is fully cooked. Add gnocchi, salt and pepper. Stir and coat gnoccis with sauce, heat gnocchi until warmed through. Serve immediately.

 

Quick Fix: Cantina Salsa

 

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Making homemade salsa is so deliciously easy, you will never feeling like buying jarred salsa ever again.

Perfect for dipping your salty, crunchy, tortilla chips and works well in many mexican dishes!

The blender does all the work for you, so all you do is throw in your favorite fresh ingredients and bam…salsa! Make it as spicy or citrusy as you like. I kept this recipe really simple and it tates amazing! It doubled as an ingredient in our lovely grilled chicken fajitas.

So fresh and delectably mild

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What you need:

  • 1 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes with jalapeno
  • 1/2 red onion
  • handful of cilantro, or more
  • 3 chipotles
  • juice of one lime
  • dash of salt and pepper

Place all ingredients in blender and blend until desired consistency

Enjoy!

Kid Fix: Cereal Cookies

My kids love being creative and making messes, I think they go hand in hand. When they want to get creative in the kitchen,I find it opens up a wonderful window of opportunity to teach them a few things, as well as allowing them to be little chefs.

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I’m pretty sure I have one of the few 6 year olds that doesn’t like chocolate (I still have no idea how that happened, definitely not my gene pool).Among her disgust for chocolate, she has nut allergies, and texture issues. So I really need a good brainstorm when thinking of what fun desserts she can take part in.

I thought that using cereal add-ins would be perfect, they are sweet,colorful, and crunchy.

It’s also nice knowing exactly what your kids are eating, it may be dessert but we made it ourselves.

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What you need:

  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup shortening
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups any cereal(s) of choice
  • cooking spray
  • 2 small helpers (optional)

Begin by preheating oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.

Spray cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, combine brown sugar,shortening,egg,milk,salt,baking soda, and vanilla. Beat on med speed until well blended.

Add flour slowly, beat until well blended. Stir in cereal.

Spoon batter by tablespoonfuls on cookie sheet abouot 2 in apart. Bake 10-12 mins or until slightly golden. Cool 2 mins, then transfer to cool completely.

Enjoy

Baked Chimichangas with Chipotle Cilantro Salsa

 

Ok, I’ll be honest and I say there is so much going on, predominantly a new job, so I’ve been in this 5 o clock slump that left me slapping together some lazy dinners. Over the weekend, I decided to make up for the weekday mess and make something deliciously flavorful.

I wanted to try my hand on chimichangas, since I hadn’t made them before. As mouth-watering as some of the recipes sounded, I wanted to skip the deep frying and use the baking approach. I also thought chipotles would add  a perfect smokey kick.

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This recipe does take some time, but it can be perfect for a make-ahead meal that can be frozen until ready to heat. I started off by roasting some mesquite marinated chicken legs, then adding the pulled chicken to a chipotle sauce with the addition of black beans and cheese right before baking.

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This dish makes a perfectly filling dinner, the combination of tender chicken, smoky sauce, wrapped in a crisp tortilla will leaving everyone wanting seconds.

What you need:

  • 3 lbs of bone-in chicken (legs and/or thighs)
  • mesquite marinade or your favorite spice rub
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 3-4 chipotle peppers, diced *I used canned chipotles in adobo sauce*
  • 1 8oz can tomato sauce
  • 2 tbsp cilantro, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1/2 cup black beans
  • 1/3 cup cheddar cheese
  • 8-10 tortillas
  • salt and pepper to taste

Begin by roasting chicken until tender. I brushed chicken with a Grillmates mesquite marinade, but you can use pantry spices or buy rotisserie chicken from the grocery store. I broiled the chicken for about an hour, turning frequently.

When chicken is cooked pull chicken off bone with a fork, and shred. (you can also just chop up the chicken as well)

In a large sauce pan, add in olive oil and onion. Cook until onions are soft and translucent. Add in garlic,cilantro,chipotles,and chili powder, cook for about 3 mins. Add in tomato sauce and chicken stock. Lower heat and simmer for 10 mins.

Remove about 1/3 to half the sauce for topping later.

Add shredded chicken and black beans to sauce pan, heat through coating chicken and beans.

Place chicken mixture in tortilla and top with cheese, fold tortilla and place on baking sheet seam side down. Continue with the rest of chicken mixture and tortillas.

Bake chimichangas at 375 degrees fahrenheit for 15-20 mins or until tortillas are golden brown.

While chimichangas are baking, puree the removed chipotle sauce. Heat through on low heat until chimichangas are done baking.

Serve chimichangas topped with chipotle sauce and a sprinkle of cheese. Enjoy

 

 

Quick Fix: Grilled Fruit Dessert

Image It’s BBQ season! If you haven’t shown your grill some love, now is definitely the time. I love everything about grilling, except the strong BBQ smell that lingers in my hair afterwards…the flavor that you get from the grill is amazing. Next time you want to bbq dinner or have friends over for a bbq, don’t forget about dessert!! As much savory deliciousness that comes right off the grill, you can also make a super quick sweet treat on your grill as well. Peaches have been looking scrumptious and juicy, I had to pick some up. They also make an effortless post-BBQ dessert. I grilled up some peaches until they were warm enough to my liking. Add a dollop of ice cream/whipped cream and drizzle with caramel sauce and pecans. Image                               Happy grilling!

Banana Ice Cream

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OK, I don’t know about you but everywhere I turn, the recipes I check out, posts on my Facebook, even the t.v shows we watch (a.k.a Sprout), somebody somewhere is making banana ice cream. Yup, ice cream (my favorite thing ever) without an ice cream maker, or even milk. Just bananas! That’s it.

I started off thinking really? interesting, then my son and I were watching Sprout and the host was talking about healthy snacks, and then and there just made this banana ice cream, well after he said mmm, I decided I would make this magical creation

 

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This is actually the simplest satisfying thing you can ever make! You just cut up some bananas (preferably the bruised looking ones, they are the sweetest) and freeze them. After they are frozen solid, dump them in your food processor/blender, in no time at all, they become ice cream! Perfectly creamy, cold, and smooth. So effortless!

I decided to add some toppings, because what’s ice cream without toppings??

I just drizzled on some nutella and topped that with pecans! Yummm

** If it weren’t for my missing ice cream scoop (which is probably in the depths of my son’s toy box) I would have scooped the ice cream into balls. Don’t be fooled by the picture, this ice cream is perfectly scoop-able!

Baja Chicken Tacos with Mango Salsa

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If you haven’t fired up your grill yet, then this recipe should persuade you to…

When the weather is this gorgeous, who wouldn’t want to be outside grilling up something delicious? It’s grilling season baby.

These Baja Chicken Tacos are charged with fresh flavors, perfect for your next cookout. The sweet and savory flavors fuse together giving you the perfect summer bite!

I started with strips of chicken breast in a coconut, lime, and cilantro marinade. No matter if you brush it right on before grilling or let it sit in the fridge a couple hours, your chicken will be perfectly juicy and delectable. To keep up with our sweet and fresh flavors, I put together a clean, colorful mango salsa.

Wrapped in a warm tortilla topped with cotija cheese, just perfect! Even husbands who don’t like trying new things will devour these babies ;)

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What you need:

  • 2-3 chicken breasts, cut into strips
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 3 limes, juiced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsps fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp each salt and pepper
  • cotija (or feta) cheese, for topping
  • 1/4 cup thousand island salad dressing

Mango Salsa

  • 1-2 mangos, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1-2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 tbsp cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • salt and pepper to taste

Begin by placing coconut milk, garlic, cilantro, honey, salt and pepper, and limes in food processor (or blender). Puree mixture until its a finer consistency. In a large bowl or dish place chicken strips and pour in marinade. Cover and store in fridge until ready to use.

Grill chicken on high about 4-6 mins per side.

Combine all ingredients for salsa into a bowl, mix and cover until ready to serve.

Warm tortillas on grill about 30 secs per side, spread on some thousand island dressing, and place chicken on tortilla. Top with mango salsa and cotija cheese!