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Thursday, May 26, 2016

Blender Salsa


We have a favorite salsa recipe and we want it to be your favorite, too.  It's ridiculously easy and so addictive.  We have both been making it for years now and we have tweaked the recipe so now we can declare it perfect.  Lu shared the original a couple of years ago, but since we both have made slight changes from the old recipe and we got some new pictures we decided it deserved a new post.  


Declaring it perfect may seem pretty bold, but one taste and you'll understand.  Oh, and did we mention that it uses canned tomatoes? In my opinion, that is one of the best things about this salsa--you can enjoy it all year! Originally I was worried it wouldn't taste as fresh using canned tomatoes, but the cilantro, lime, and jalapeno do an excellent job of making the whole thing taste fresh and I didn't miss dicing all those tomatoes one little bit. 


Just try to plan ahead at least an hour before you want to eat it so that the flavors can get happy before you eat it....although I've never been one to be able to but off my salsa craving for a whole hour!


Blender Salsa

Printable Version

Ingredients:




1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes
1 cans (10 - 14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes with green chiles (Rotel)
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 jalapeno, roughly chopped with seeds and membranes removed
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/2 cup cilantro, roughly chopped *
juice of 1/2 lime

Directions:


In a blender, or blending cup if using an immersion blender, combine Rotel with all ingredients besides diced tomatoes. Blend until smooth or desired consistency is reached. Add in diced tomatoes and pulse a couple of times leaving a little bit of texture. Chill for at least 1 hour to allow flavors to meld. Serve with chips, taquitos, quesadillas, enchiladas or any way your salsa-loving heart desires!

Notes:


*I don't bother removing the majority of the stems. I know some people use only the leaves though. Just chop off the bottom and give the rest a rough chop before throwing it in the blender.

Recipe Source:


Adapted from the Pioneer Woman Cooks; Originally shared on landeelu.com

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Sweet Pork Nachos

Sweet pork nachos have my heart forever.


Start with this delicious sweet pork.  Cover it in cheese and other goodness.  Bake until melty...
... and drizzle with this creamy cliantro-lime dressing.  Devour.  
Follow this link to OSSS where we are sharing the recipe today!








Sunday, May 15, 2016

Blueberries N' Cream Mile-High Pie


I'm excited to share a new favorite summer recipe of ours.  Mile-High Pie - blueberry edition. I shared it at the end of last summer on my friend Christine's blog, I Dig Pinterest (she has an awesome blog if you want a great source for recipes, home decor, and DIY things). Anyhow, let's get down to business...



This recipe comes from my husbands family.  It's been made in their family for a few generations, only with strawberries.  The strawberry version is wonderful. We absolutely love it! But I've been on a major blueberry kick lately (and forever)! And now we are left having two favorite versions of this pie. 

I have several other flavor combos I'm wanting to try too, so stay tuned.  

Let's get a little intimate with this piece of pie! Take a close look.


Meet Blueberry N' Cream Mile-High Pie!  Isn't she a gorgeous?! You can see the beautiful blueberries and swirls of cream throughout.  This dessert is unlike any other dessert I've had. It's so light and fluffy you almost pile it a whole mile high, hence the name. The mixture is a whipped frozen berry, egg white and sugar mixture, you wouldn't believe how much volume a few blueberries and 2 egg white and some sugar can get as you whip it for 5 minutes.  I love watching it grow in the mixer!  Then whipped cream gets gently folded into the berry mixture, leaving you with delicious swirls of creamy goodness. This is torturous to write about when I don't have any in my freezer right now. 

It's so light in texture I feel like I could probably eat nearly the whole pan.  But we usually eat it ever so slowly and savor a piece of pie every night until it's gone.  Below you'll find some step by step pictures of this comes together. It's easy as 1-2-pie! 

Starting in the top left and going left to right.

1. Add egg whites, lemon juice and sugar to your stand mixer with the whip attachments.
2. Pull some frozen blueberries from the freezer and let them thaw for a few minutes until this are still frozen, but thawed just enough to crush under the pressure of your fingers. Don't let them go past that or they won't whip up nice.
3. Turn your mixer on high and whip for 5-10 minutes until it's stiff, full and fat. It takes up practically the whole bowl on my mixer when it's done.
4. Here it is nice and full. Scrape it gently into a large mixing bowl.  
5. In the mixer or with a hand mixer whip a cup of cream until it's stiff.
6. Place the whipped cream into the mixing bowl with the blueberry mixture and gently fold it together - I like to make sure it's not over mixed, you want to save the fluff from being flattened. I like swirls of cream in mine.
7. Place 3/4 - 1 cup of graham cracker cups in the bottom of a casserole dish or cake pan that has a lid.
8. Gently spread the blueberries n' cream mixture over the crumbs.
9. Sprinkle the remaining 3/4 - 1 cup of graham cracker crumbs over the top. Place the lid on or cover tightly with foil and freeze for 12-24 hours. Serve immediately upon removing from freezer.

There you have it. It's simple, easy and so scrumptious! I hope you and yours will enjoy this as much as me and mine!

Xo,
Lu

Blueberries N’ Cream Mile-High Pie

Ingredients:


2 large egg whites
⅔ cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons lemon juice (bottled or fresh)
10 ounces frozen blueberries, slightly thawed - see notes below
------------------------------------------------
1 cup whipping cream
1 ½ - 2 cups of graham cracker crumbs, divided

Directions:


In a gallon size zip top bag place 1 ½ sleeves of graham crackers and zip closed.  Roll with a rolling pin until the crackers are crushed as evenly as possible.  Pour all but ¾-1 cup onto the bottom of a 9x13 cake pan (with lid) or a glass casserole dish and spread evenly.  Reserve the ¾-1 cup for the top of the pie.

Get the blueberries out of freezer and set on the counter for about 5 minutes, when they have softened enough so that you could pinch one and it would crush under the pressure of your fingers then it’s just right.  It will still be partially frozen.

Attach whips to a large stand mixer (such as a BOSCH) and place egg whites, sugar, lemon juice, and slightly thawed blueberries into the bowl, make sure your mixer lid is on.  It is important to mix these ingredients together and NOT separately! Mix on high speed for 5-10 minutes until the mixture is stiff, fat and full. It will fill up your entire bowl after it has mixed this long.  Carefully scrape this mixture into an extra large mixing bowl. In the same mixer whip whipping cream until peaks form (about 2-3 minutes).  Scrape whipped cream into the large mixing bowl with the strawberry mixture.  Gently fold the whipping cream into the blueberry mixture until it is mixed well.  Do not over mix or you will lose some of the air and fluff of the mixture.  If there are small streaks of white cream it’s just fine! I really like it that way.

Pile this mixture high on the graham cracker crumb crust taking care not to handle it too much (save the fluff).  Top with remaining graham cracker crumbs and cover with lid or plastic  wrap and freeze for 12-24 hours before serving.  You want it nice and firm before serving, and it thaws quick! Serve immediately after removing from freezer.

Recipe Source:


adapted from this recipe from my mother-in-law, Maureen Grover. Originally shared on I Dig Pinterest (Summer 2015)

And try not to lick your plate, I dare you!


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Friday, May 13, 2016

Roasted Red Pepper Pasta with Grilled Chicken


Today we are sharing a super-speedy, SUPER yummy pasta sauce recipe.  It is seriously lick-the-bowl good!  You must make it.  I made it just last night and my kids (and hubby) devoured it!  



Check out these fun campanelle pasta noodles, too.  We loved them in this dish and also love using them in this skillet lasagna.  


Hop on over to OSSS for the recipe and printable.




Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Cilantro Lime Ranch Dressing



I love cilantro. And I love ranch. So this dressing is definitely a marriage made in heaven for me! I think it's just as good as the real deal(at cafe rio/costa vida) and you'll end up with a whole bottle of it to use on everything!  

We use it like regular ranch--as a dressing and and dip for just about everything! We love it on an ordinary green salad, Taco Salad, and obviously on Sweet Pork Salads, too.  Drizzled lightly over nachos makes them heavenly, too!



Cilantro Lime Ranch Dressing


Printable Version
Ingredients:

1 packet (3 tablespoons) Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing Mix
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup your favorite salsa verde*
1/2 -1 bunch cilantro, depending on how cilantro-y you want it
1/2 jalapeno (with or without seeds & membranes depending on how hot you want it--I usually leave the seeds out)
Juice and zest from half of a lime
3/4 cup light or olive oil mayo (if you use regular mayo you will need to use a little more mayo (or a little less milk) because it makes the dressing thicken differently.)  
1 clove garlic, coarsely chopped


Directions:

Combine all ingredients in blender.  Blend until smooth.  Refrigerate at least 2 hours.  If necessary, add more milk and thin to desired consistency.  


Notes:

*I like both the Herdez and La Victoria brands--just make sure the first ingredient is tomatillos


I like this recipe because I don't have to worry about having fresh tomatillos on hand, I can just use the salsa verde to get the same flavor.


Recipe Source:

I probably looked at 20 different copycat recipes and tried 5 or so until I tweaked it and came up with this one that I really love. Not really sure which recipe influenced it the most, probably the one I got from my old neighbor, Debbie Huffaker.  






Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Sweet Pork

I've tried several different recipes for cafe rio/costa vida style sweet pork. Some of them were super involved, but I loved how simple and delicious this one was so I wanted to share it with you.  I'm a huge fan of a low work to taste ratios and this one fits the bill perfectly.  If I can remember to put the pork in the coke to marinade the night before, it makes it extra easy.  (I have skipped the marinading step before when I was in a hurry and the pork still turned out delicious.)  It wasn't quite as tender, but it was still easy to shred and tasted great on our salads!


Sweet pork salads seem to be one of the few things we eat at large family get-togethers. Everyone seems to like them and since there are several components, it's easy to make assignments and have everyone pitch in.  The recipe is easily doubled (or more) to feed a large crowd.  We love this meat on salads, in burritos, enchiladas, tacos, and even on nachos.  There is no wrong way to eat it!

 - Leesh




Shredded Sweet Pork


Ingredients:


1 can coke, for marinating
Garlic salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 lbs boneless pork (I have used boneless spare ribs and a loin roast both with great results)
⅓ cup brown sugar + more to taste if needed
2 cups salsa, blended until smooth

Directions:


Generously season pork with garlic salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Place in ziploc bag with coke and remove as much air as possible.  Refrigerate 4+ hours.  

After marinating time, dump pork and marinade into a lightly greased slow cooker.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours.  Shred pork and drain liquid, reserving ½ cup liquid.  Add shredded pork back to slow cooker and add salsa and brown sugar.  Cook on low until heated through.  Add reserved cooking liquid until desired juiciness is achieved.  Taste and add more brown sugar if you like it sweeter.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Hawaiian Haystacks {with a Creamy Garlic Chicken Sauce}

I hadn't eaten this dish for years, until last night.  It was quick, easy, and my kids loved it--so it will definitely start appearing more frequently here.  My kids thought it was so fun to have all the toppings in little dishes so they could customize it as they wanted. It was a nice break from the complaining that has been happening at our dinner table lately.  


Lu came up with this delicious sauce as an alternative to the traditional cream of chicken soup that the chicken gravy is made with.  I thought it was perfect.  Give it a try and let us know what you think!


PS. These Rice noodles are way more crunchy and delicious than the traditional chow mein noodles!



Hawaiian Haystacks with Creamy Garlic Chicken Gravy

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup flour
3½ cups milk (or 3 cups milk + ½ cup cream)
2 teaspoons chicken base or 2 cubes bullion
Salt & pepper to taste
2 cups cooked chicken (shredded or cut into bite-sized pieces)
Hot cooked rice for serving

For full recipe, directions and printable version click here.