Thursday, September 27, 2012

Foodtastic Friday! (Drum roll please)

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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Turkey Bean Mexican Bake

I have to tell you that I work pretty hard to bring new stuff to my readers every week. I’ve been blogging for over two years now and thinking up different dishes every day can be quite difficult. I often wonder how those young lads who attend culinary school are able to come up with such creative dishes all of the time. Don’t they burn out? I know I do.

There are some great places to browse when I am stumped. I often check out,,, but my favorite is I like their options because they are “everyday” recipes. They don’t try to intimidate their audience like others do. They use ingredients that are easy to find in any grocery store and they don’t require any fancy equipment.

This leads me back to the stuff I try to offer you. I want you to love cooking as much as I do. I want your families to enjoy eating together as much as we do. I try to share the meals that will be easy, fast and tasty. I was searching my phone and saw a good old stand-by on a BHG app. This is simple enough for anyone to put it together. I like it because you can change it up too. I would love to see what a culinary student would do with this one. Me? Well my husband and I pretended we were back at our favorite Mexican restaurant (without the margaritas).

It was perfection.

What You Will Need:

6-8 small corn tortillas
1 (14.5 oz) can of pinto beans, rinsed and drained
small can of green chile peppers
1 lb ground turkey
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
1 large garlic clove, chopped
½ C light sour cream
1 ½ T flour
2 tsp garlic salt
¾ C Shredded Colby Jack cheese
¾ (14 oz) can of tomato paste
1 chicken bouillon
½ tsp ground oregano + dash
½ tsp mild chili powder + dash
½ tsp cumin + dash
½ tsp onion powder

1) Preheat oven to 350°F.
2) Mix sour cream, 1 tsp garlic salt and flour in small bowl. Reserve.
3) In small saucepan, mix together tomato paste, chicken bouillon, 1 C water, ground oregano, cumin, chili powder, onion powder and 1 tsp garlic salt. Bring to boil and lower to simmer.
4) Brown turkey in large skillet.
5) Add onion and garlic to turkey and cook until onion is translucent.
6) Season turkey mixture with dash of chili powder, cumin and oregano.
7) Stir beans and peppers into turkey mixture.

8) Grease 9x13 casserole with non-stick cooking spray.
9) Lay 3-4 torn tortillas on bottom of casserole.
10) Pour half of meat mixture over tortillas.
11) Pour half of sauce over meat and drop dollops of sour cream mixture over sauce.
12) Repeat reserving ½ C sauce.
13) Pour remaining sauce on top and garnish with cheese.
14) Bake for 10-15 minutes or until cheese is melted.
15) Serve.

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Monday, September 24, 2012

Peanut and Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

My kids have an addiction for banana bread.

When I make it, I try to change it up every time. Last time I made a batch of chocolate banana bread. I saw a yummy recipe for peanut butter banana bread the other day, so I added another twist to my regular recipe. It’s superb.

What You Will Need:
3 C flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 stick of unsalted butter
4 eggs
1 C sugar
¾ C brown sugar
½ C peanut butter
3-4 ripened bananas
½ C milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 C semi-sweet chocolate morsels
½ C finely crushed peanuts

1) Preheat oven to 350°F.
2) Grease two deep bread pans.
3) Sift together flour, baking soda and baking powder.
4) Mash bananas with peanut butter, milk and vanilla.
 5) Cream together sugars and butter. Add eggs, one at a time.
6) Gradually add flour mixture to egg mixture.
7) Fold in banana mixture.
8) Fold in chocolate and peanuts.
9) Pour batter into two pans.
10) Bake for an hour.
11) Remove and let cool for 10 minutes.
12) Remove bread from pan and transfer to cooling rack.
13) Slice and serve.

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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Foodtastic Friday- Booyah!

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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Goat Cheese Salsa Dip

I'm on my way out the door in just a few to gather with a great group of women.  We meet monthly to discuss life as a mom and to take a break.  Typically we bring a bottle of wine and an appetizer... At 4 o'clock I hadn't made anything yet!!!

I desperately checked the fridge and found some ingredients that would go together nicely.  We'll see what everyone thinks.  I just had a bite and I'm happy!

What You Will Need:
3/4 C light sour cream
1/2 C mild salsa
1/2 tsp ground oregano
1 green onion, chopped, reserve green portion for garnish.
1/4 C crumbled goat cheese

1) Mix all ingredients.

2) Garnish with green portion of onion.
3) Serve with tortilla chips and veggies.

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Thursday, September 13, 2012

Foodtastic Friday

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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Savory Orange Chicken

I think we all grew up with a version of this classic dish. I know Orange Chicken was a staple in our house because it went a long way and all of us enjoyed it. I attempted the classic, but I came up with a different version. The result was savory goodness that all of us could eat over and over again. It also brought be back to my childhood! I hope my kids will remember this one.

What You Will Need:
12 chicken drumsticks
1 orange, peeled, sliced
garlic salt and pepper
½ C orange marmalade
2 tsp Sriracha
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 tsp ground ginger
2 T Soy sauce

1) Whisk all ingredients in small bowl together.
2) Season chicken with salt and pepper.
3) Place onion on bottom of slow cooker.
4) Top onion with chicken.
5) Pour sauce over top. Top with orange slices.
6) Cook on LOW for 6-7 hours.
7) Serve with rice and salad.

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Sunday, September 9, 2012

But You Have Fancy Menus

While on vacation this summer, we decided to eat out the first night instead of cook for ourselves. We stopped at a Mexican restaurant that we knew would have an extensive menu and fast service.  After all it was a chain and we loved the one in Richmond.

Summer Sky 
The great thing about Mexican restaurants is that they are known for their quick service.  Our salsa and chips were placed in the middle of our table and we were presented with our menus.  After browsing through the many options, we all settled on our dinner picks, flagged down the waiter and ordered our dishes.

Well, the stereotypical fast service turned into slow service and then next to no service.  The kids started to lose it and all of us started to lose our cool.  No one in our family is known to complain about a meal, ever, but after sitting at our table for close to an hour without any food, someone had to say something.  When our waiter directed the bus boys to deliver meals to the table behind us that had sat down later, we were not happy.  We explained to the waiter that we’d been waiting for quite some time and things changed.  Our food finally arrived.

Almost every plate was wrong.  Those beautiful menus and quick greetings were all a trick.  One of us had to send something back and they brought back a replacement in less than 5 minutes.  Makes you wonder why it took so long the first time? 

I know you all want me to reveal the place where all of this happened, but I can’t.  It goes against my morals.  I just hope they read this and realize that they need to improve upon some things if they want to stick around.  Their fancy menus and pretty restaurant are great but they need to work on their customer service a bit.
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Thursday, September 6, 2012

Eat Your Heart Out- Foodtastic Friday!

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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Spicy Fish Tacos

I’ve already posted about fish tacos before, but the joy of tacos is that they are versatile. Some people shy away from fish because they are uncertain of the quality. If you make your tacos at home, you can control the quality of the fish. Go to your local fishmonger and ask them to recommend a good fish with the other ingredients you plan to use. Chances are you might discover a new species!

What You Will Need:
8 oz fresh white flaky fish
Cajun seasoning
1 C broccoli slaw
1 avocado, thinly sliced
½ C medium salsa or pico de gallo
1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 pkg flour/corn tortillas
1 lime
½ C shredded Mexican cheese blend

1) Rub Cajun seasoning on both side fish fillets.
2) Prepare grill.
3) Grill fish until fully cooked.
4) Grill pepper slices until slightly charred.
5) Assemble tacos with a little fish, pepper, broccoli slaw, avocado, salsa and cheese. Squeeze lime over top.
6) Serve.

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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Asian Glazed Pork Chops

The only thing wrong with these was that the pork chops were very small. Next time I’ll buy much more… I must have been in La La Land when I picked the pork out of the meat counter. Make sure you add some cheese grits and a big piece of bread to your plate when you fix this too. You’ll want to soak up all of the glaze left on the plate.

What You Will Need:
1 lb boneless pork chops (I didn’t use this much- 1 lb will be enough for 4)
½ C red current jelly
½ C hoisin sauce
1 tsp garlic salt
1 T soy sauce
 2 tsp Sriracha

1) Mix all ingredients except for the pork in a small bowl. Reserve ½ C of mixture.
2) Marinate pork in sauce for 30 minutes.
3) Prepare grill.
4) Grill pork on one side for 4-5 minutes. Turn and repeat until pork is thoroughly cooked.
5) Glaze pork with reserved mixture. Turn and repeat.
6) Serve.

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Sunday, September 2, 2012

VA Beach Top Fried Seafood Joints

Every year my family takes a vacation to Virginia Beach for a week. I’ve gone to the beach for at least a weekend since I can remember. I have lived in Nags Head, NC for a summer and have stayed in Duck, Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills, Corolla and Cape Hatteras, but Virginia Beach is where I feel most comfortable. (The Carolina beaches and Virginia Beach are the popular coastal retreats for most Richmonders.)

Feeling this comfortable in Virginia Beach would make you believe that we know where to eat as far as seafood restaurants are concerned.

Well, it wasn’t until this year, about 30 years in the making, that we’ve finally settled on the top seafood spots in VA Beach.

Here they are folks, the top 3 FRIED seafood joints in VA Beach:

1) Croaker’s- the best fried soft-shell crabs on the beach! Their platters offer up 3 good-size soft-shells with plentiful corn muffins and your choice of 2 sides. My vote is for their spinach casserole!
Softshell Sandwich at Croaker's

2) Surfrider Grill- this hidden gem sits on the water at Marina Shores. We highly recommend their fish tacos or fried fish/crabcake sandwich! The kids loved their shrimp baskets complete with fries! Stroll around the marina afterwards and you might be lucky enough to tour their yachts!
Those aren't crab legs!

3) Nick’s- This is truly a dive and is famous for their early dinners. Arrive at 5:30 folks to beat the crowd. You can’t go wrong with their steamed shrimp or any of their fried specials. Did I forget to mention the basket of hush puppies that comes first!?! Yum. Best deal on the beach!

Strolling on the beach.
Now we've been searching for years to find the best spot.  If you can top these, please tell me.  The price and what comes with it was the best so far.
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