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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Fried Rice with Ham & Egg


Do you ever make too much rice and have leftovers you have no idea what to do with?  I know I do.  We usually cook more rice than we need.  Leftover rice is perfect for this simple and tasty fried rice. Fried rice is a family favorite, so much in fact, I'll even go to the effort to cook rice just to make this dish. 

My uncle DJ was the one who got me started on fried rice. He makes it soooo good. He's a pro, really!  My aunt, his wife, said she won't even do it, because it's so good when he makes it.   I have tried to get his recipe written down, but he kind of just does it. So after he, well, mostly his wife, told me how to do it, we've tweaked it, tried it, tweaked it some more, and I've written down our  basic method. It's easy, family friendly, and utterly delicious! 
 

There are lots of variations you can do with this simple dish.  Sometimes if I'm in a real pinch for time I'll just add frozen peas to the mix of ham and egg.  But when I'm wanting something a little more, I'll saute a little onion, garlic, celery and carrot. This particular time I even threw in some finely chopped spinach.  I'll find any way to squeeze as many extra veggies/vitamins in.  My kids don't complain.  If they ask what they green stuff is, I just tell them it's seasonings and it makes it extra tasty. So far, my 1 year old has no complaints, and the 4 year old buys it every time. I love it when they gobble up something good! Makes me feel good!

My 1 year old really loved it so much that she was ready to dive in while I took some photos.  I think she really might have just wanted to grab all those eggs and throw them on the floor. She's a bit destruct-o, if you know what I mean.  Love that sweet little face!


I hope you'll enjoy this dish!  And I'd love to hear what you think!

-Lu



Fried Rice {with Ham & Egg}

Serves approx. 5-6
Ingredients:

1 ½ cups uncooked rice, (about 3 cups cooked rice - we especially love jasmine rice)
8 ounces ham, diced
3 eggs, scrambled
2 tablespoons water
3 tablespoons butter
Garlic salt and ground pepper to taste
½-¾ cup frozen peas
1-2+ tablespoons soy sauce, to taste (optional - sometimes I do, sometimes I don't)

Extra optional veggies (as many or few as you want)
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
2 cups spinach, finely chopped

Directions:

Cook rice according to package directions. If you want the extra veggies, start by sauteing them in a large non-stick skillet - add olive oil and all the veggies you want, and saute until tender. Set aside in a dish.  

In a small bowl whisk eggs with water, and a little salt and pepper. In the same skillet you cooked the veggies, add a small amount of olive oil or butter until cooked, stirring as they cook. Remove from pan and keep warm with veggies.  

Add ham to the skillet and cook until lightly browned; this helps bring out some good flavor.  

Add everything to the skillet with the ham, the rice, veggies, eggs, butter and garlic salt and pepper.  Cook over medium heat stirring frequently and letting it brown a little and heat up evenly.  Stir in soy sauce if desired.  

Enjoy!

Recipe Source:

A Leesh & Lu original, by Lu, inspired by uncle DJ. :)

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Bacon Avocado Quesadillas


Who out there loves avocados?  I know I didn't used to until I hit my mid-twenties and the suddenly I thought they were the most delicious thing ever.  And who out there doesn't like bacon? Like as in, DOES NOT like bacon?!? Okay, phew,  I hope that was no one. :) Really, I hope everyone likes bacon, because it makes my life so happy! And I'm hope it does for you too!


Several months ago my friend made me a quesadilla with chopped avocado, and I loved it. I hadn't ever thought to do that.  I guess I need to step outside of the box every now and then.  We have quesadillas A LOT at our house for lunch. I swear 9 out of 10 days my 4 year old asks for one for lunch. I have to admit I need a little more variety than that. This jazzed up cheese quesadilla was enough for me.  And a few Sunday's ago my husband and I thoroughly enjoyed these for lunch. 

These quesadillas were super delicious topped with my favorite, restaurant style salsa, sour cream and cilantro. I would have had made some guacamole too, but I only had enough avocado to put inside the quesadilla.   


I hope you can spice up you lunch with one of these sometime real soon. You won't be sorry that you did!  

Enjoy! 
-Lu


Bacon Avocado Quesadillas

Yield: 1 Quesadilla
Ingredients:

1-2 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
about ½ cup cheese (I prefer Colby Jack or Monterrey Jack)
2 tortillas (I prefer Tortillaland uncooked tortillas)
1 small avocado, sliced
Cilantro, chopped, use as much as you like

Salsa, guacamole, sour cream for dipping (optional)

Directions:

Heat griddle over medium heat and if you are using uncooked tortillas brown them lightly on each side until lightly golden.  Add cheese to one side, top with bacon, avocado slices, and chopped cilantro, sprinkle a little more cheese on top and top with the 2nd tortilla. Brown on both sides until slightly crispy. Place on a plate and let sit for 2 minutes and slice into wedges.

Garnish with salsa, sour cream, guacamole and cilantro if desired, or dunk each wedge in any or all of these.

Enjoy! That is a must! :)

Recipe Source:

A Leesh & Lu original, by Lu


PIN THIS!


Monday, February 16, 2015

Menu Monday (#5)

***Winners for the Wilton Rolling Pin Giveaway will be announced sometime after noon today. You can enter until noon! Check this post for results later today!***

It's been two weeks since I shared my last menu.  So I'm back again with another 2 week menu plan, which takes us into March. How can that be?  

Week One

Monday
Spicy beans and corn bread.   


Tuesday
Brinner - sourdough waffles and omelets.

Wednesday
Salsa Chicken over rice. I basically just pour my favorite salsa over some chicken in the crock-pot and then cook it on low for several hours and stir in 1/2 a block of cream cheese before serving.  Serve it over rice with cheese and any taco like toppings.  I'll share an official recipe soon.

Thursday 
Chicken Bacon Noodle Bake in a Creamy Garlic Herb and Lemon Sauce.....I was going for a Dr. Suess like title. Have you read Fox in Sox? Try to say that 4 times fast.  :) This is a new creation we just made up - so I'll share it soon. I didn't snag a picture last time becasue it was gone too fast. :) 

Friday
Bean enchiladas with the leftover spicy beans from Monday. 

Saturday
Grilled Chicken Salad - I haven't shared one of my favorite marinades, but this one is really good.  I just marinade the chicken, grill it and the serve it over a green salad with a vinaigrette and lots of yummy toppings like: avocado, bacon bits, croutons, cucumbers, cranberries, toasted pecans, and some kind of yummy cheese (Parmesan, feta, or bleu cheese)etc. 

Sunday
A new pinwheel creation - I'm not sure yet, but I've been brainstorming. 

Week 2 

Monday
Beef and Cheese Wedges

Tuesday
Potato Puffers, fruit salad, scrambled eggs.

Wednesday
Mushroom Bisque and artisan bread- I've been collaborating with my aunt and sister in-law for the perfect recipe for this soup....so this is another test.  I'll share when we nail it down. 

Thursday
Taco Salad - another thing repeated often over here. We loooove this stuff.  Especially with some fresh salsa.

Friday
Date night - going out! :) 

Saturday
Beef Taquitos or Breakfast Taquitos. We have some form of taquitos a lot too, cause my kids gobble them up!

Will you be trying anything from my menu plan?  If so, let me know how you like it in the comments! :) Enjoy!

To see all the Menu Monday posts for meal planning ideas, click here.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

{Baked} Breakfast Taquitos


**If you haven't seen our giveaway going on, don't miss it. It ends Monday, February 16th.

If you've been around here a while, you know that we love taquitos.  You also probably know that we love brinner.  So, on a whim, I thought--why not combine the two?  And usually when I have these kinds of crazy ideas it requires a lot of tweaking and often just scrapping the whole recipe.  But this time it was different.  I loved the result.  I don't know what it is about the crispy taquitos that gets me, but I just can't get enough.  It also helps that they come together super quickly and that I usually have all the ingredients on hand.  My kids and hubby always eat them up without any complaints, which is always a huge bonus.  Plus, they were super filling.  

Just in case these weren't awesome enough on their own, add freezer-friendly and make-ahead to their resume and you pretty much have a winning recipe.  These are perfect for breakfast, lunch, or dinner--or even dinner guests and the filling is super adaptable.  You can sneak in some spinach or other veggies and add green chiles if that's your thing (and in New Mexico, you know that's Lu's thing!).  I've made these several times in the past month and I think they will definitely be a regular in our dinner rotation.  

My 4-year-old also loves to help make these.  We like to use the Tortillaland uncooked tortillas, which makes him the designated tortilla-cooker.  In my scientific studies I have found that when I can involve my kids in making dinner they are approximately a bajillion times more likely to eat it.  I hope you'll give these a try!         

{Baked} Breakfast Taquitos

Ingredients:

8-10 taco-sized flour tortillas
5 eggs, scrambled
1-2 cups spinach, finely chopped and sauteed (optional)
1/2 pound sausage, browned and crumbled
1 - 1 1/2 cups hash browns or shredded potatoes
salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup shredded colby jack cheese
4 ounce can diced green chiles (optional)
½ cup sour cream
vegetable oil spray
kosher salt


Directions:

Preheat oven to 400.  Line a baking sheet with parchment or lightly greased foil.  


Cook or heat tortillas according to package directions.  Cover and set aside until ready to assemble taquitos.  


Combine sausage, cooked scrambled eggs, spinach (if desired), hashbrowns, cheese, chiles (if desired), salt, and pepper.  (Note on the hashbrowns: if using frozen or rehydrated hash browns, make sure to cook them or remove as much liquid as possible from them so you don’t end up with soggy taquitos.  If using shredded potatoes, toss them in 2 teaspoons of oil and microwave them for 5-8 minutes stirring every minute or so to soften them.  Drain any excess liquid.)


On a clean work surface, spread out tortillas.  Spread a dollop of sour cream on the inside of each tortilla.  Distribute filling evenly across all tortillas.  Roll them tightly and place seam side down on the baking sheet.  Lightly spray each taquitos with cooking spray and sprinkle lightly with coarse or kosher salt.  


Bake for 12-15 minutes or until edges of tortillas begin to lightly brown and get crispy.  Serve with salsa and sour cream for dipping.    


Notes:

We like the Tortillaland uncooked tortillas.  Make sure to cook them before using them in the taquitos.  You can also use corn tortillas here, which I really like.  They get a bit crispier, so it’s harder for my little kids to chew them.  If you choose to use corn tortillas here it will make 12-15 taquitos.  


For the potatoes, use whatever you have.  I have used both frozen and dehydrated hash browns, and shredded potatoes with great results.  Make sure to cook or microwave them if using grated potatoes.  


To freeze: Assemble as directed up until the spraying/salting step.  Freeze until solid on a foil or wax paper lined baking sheet and then transfer them into a gallon-sized freezer bag until ready to use. Move them to the fridge to defrost on a lined baking sheet 8-10 hours before baking or allow them to thaw at room temperature for an hour or two before baking.  Before baking, lightly spray them with cooking spray and sprinkle a little bit of kosher salt on them and bake as directed.

Can easily be adapted to be gluten-free by using corn tortillas.

Recipe Source:


A Leesh and Lu Original--by Leesh

Monday, February 9, 2015

"I'm Squeezable" Valentines {& Candy-Free Valentine Round-Up}


*Sidenote: Don't forget to enter our giveaway going on right now.   A winner will be chosen next Monday. :)

My one year old daughter loves these fruit pouches. So when I was s hopping at Smith's (our local Kroger store) and saw this new item of  "I'm Squeezable" applesauce pouches, I immediate thought they'd make adorable valentines (you could easily use any other apple sauce pouch, like GoGo Squeeze or any other brand).  My 4 year old is having a Valentine party for her preschool this week and I thought these were perfect. I'm all about a valentine that doesn't have any candy involved. I figure kids get enough candy that this "healthy" little applesauce snack/valentine was just what we wanted to give this year. Anyone else with me about the too much candy? Or am I just a grump about it?  

Anyhow, since the packaging said, "I'm squeezable" and thought that was too cute and had to incorporate it into a little tag for the fruit pouch.  

These were super simple to make - and should be even more so for you since I have included a free printable. :) I printed the tags on some Kraft card stock and then my daughter and I glued them on to some colored card stock and punched holes in the top and tied them on with some twine.  Simple and fast, and NO CANDY! :)  Below you can find links for a color and black and white version of the printable. 




We left the back blank so my daughter could write TO: and FROM: to each of her preschool pals.  I love her cute, big handwriting!  


Here is the COLOR version of the Printable 

Here is the BLACK & WHITE version of the Printable

Here are some other Candy-Free Valentines that I've found recently and loved. Enjoy!

Christine, from I Dig Pinterest had a fun bunch of homemade Valentines last week, and I especially loved her Perler Bead Valentines.




These could be made candy free if you just put some lipstick on your 
kid and let them kiss the paper instead of using kisses candy.  

You are the Apple of My Eye Valentines (from our blog)


I'm a LUCKY DUCK to have you as a friend from Formula Mom


Friday, February 6, 2015

GIVEAWAY - 2 Wilton Brand Silicone Rolling Pins

 ***UPDATE: GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED: We have two winners. Jana and Kelly! Check your email. Thank you to all who entered, and stay tuned for more giveaways in the future. Check out our social media links below or on our sidebar to make sure you don't miss anything! :)



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hello! It's Lu, here. Leesh and I are super excited about our FIRST GIVEAWAY! 

I mentioned how much I loved my rolling pin in our pizza series.  I wrote Wilton to tell them I loved it and asked if they'd be willing to give some of my readers a rolling pin in a giveaway. They said they would. So I have 2 to give to 2 of you! Yipee for you!

If you'd like to see more from Wilton - you can follow them on facebook and instagram



This rolling pin has been wonderful for me and I just love it! It has a non-stick, seamless barrel and both of the handles come off for easy cleaning and drying.  I've had it for 2 years now - I love using it to roll out dough (like pizza dough, french bread dough) and also pie crusts.  As it is a Wilton rolling pin, I hear from the reviews, that it works great for rolling out fondant.  I'm not much of a cake decorator so I haven't ever tried fondant.  But if you are - all the better!

Two winners will be selected and announced on February 16, 2015. The entry closes at noon MST, and a winner announced later that day.   May the odds be ever in your favor. :)

Here is how to enter - CLICK HERE (giveaway now closed) and fill out the survey.  Two winners will be randomly selected on Monday February 16th. **You must be 18 years old to enter and have a mailing address in the continental U.S.**

For extra entries in the drawing follow us on our social media sites:

 
Pinterest (Lu)          Google+

 The "click here" link will take you to a form that looks like this:


You get ONE entry for telling us your NAME and Email (we won't spam you - it will be used only to notify the winners).  

You can also get up to 5 additional entries for letting us know which social media sites you follow us on (and your username).  

Good luck!  Hope you win!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Heart-Shaped Pizza {with picture tutorial}

*FYI-stay tuned for this Friday for our first GIVEAWAY, you won't want to miss it!*

Valentines Day hasn't been much about romance for us as it has been about fun - it started this way when we were kids.  Our mom is a mathematician and very creative! She would always help us make fun valentine boxes to take to our classes at school.  She made a giant heart shaped cookie every year, and sometimes we had heart shaped pizza.  

A few weeks ago we shared a 4 part series on Pizza.  We shared our favorite pizza tools, our favorite dough and how to make the perfect crust, a favorite homemade sauce, and some of our favorite pizza toppings.  We've used the same pizza dough to make this fun heart shaped pizza and we shared it over at landeelu.com a few weeks ago.  We went all out and even topped it with fun heart shaped pepperoni.  If you aren't a pepperoni fan, use ham (or cut some veggies like hearts), or the heart shaped crust will be fancy enough, right?  
I even made some salad with heart shaped carrots to go with the pizza.  

Get your dough - recipe below 
Start rolling....
..and pulling and shaping into a heart shape. 

Keep going down to see more pictures of how we did the pepperoni. 

Perfect Pizza Dough

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups warm water
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon instant yeast
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 - 3 1/2 cups flour (bread flour or all purpose both work great here)

Directions:

In mixing bowl add warm water, sugar and instant yeast. Let sit for 3 minutes or so until sugar and yeast are softened. Since it's instant yeast there is really no need to let it proof like regular yeast (if all you have is regular yeast - let it sit for 5 minutes or so until it's slightly bubbly).

Add salt, oil, and flour and knead in mixer for 3 minutes or by hand for 5-8 minutes. You want the dough to pull away from the sides of the bowl or counter (just don't over flour the dough or it will turn out a little dry and chewy). You'll know the dough is floured well when it pulls from the sides and still has a slight tacky touch to it.

Let dough rest for 10 minutes. Divide dough in two. Makes two 12-14 inch (medium-sized) pizza crusts.  Roll into a circle and bake on pizza pan or stone at 500 degrees F for 6-12 minutes with desired sauce, cheese,  and toppings. It’s done when lightly browned and cheese is bubbly.  (The cooking time varies greatly with the thickness of the rolled dough and your oven, so keep a close eye on it the first time and adjust from there if necessary.)

Notes:

This dough freezes great. I freeze it in quart freezer bags with enough dough for one crust.  Move from fridge to freezer the morning of or night before you plan to use it.  Remove from fridge 30 minutes to an hour before rolling out to allow dough to come to room temperature.  .

Recipe Source:

Adapted from Diana King’s Breadstick recipe (originally posted at landeelu.com)

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Once the dough is shaped, spread it on your favorite sauce, and top with cheese and if you'd like some heart shaped pepperoni (see picture tutorial below). 




Bake (recipe above) and enjoy!  This is what we like to call "Lovin' from the Oven"!

Happy Valentines Day! 

-Leesh & Lu