Archive for the ‘ Tasty Tuesday ’ Category

Tasty Tuesday: Easy Frozen Peaches

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013

 

We love fruit around here and I’ve found that one of the ways to save on the cost of fruit is to buy it in season and then can or freeze it to enjoy the rest of the year.  I can some peaches but our favorite way to eat them is frozen- well, actually slightly thawed and just a little bit slushy.  It’s almost like eating fresh peaches! And if you pack lunches of any sort these are perfect to add to them since they act sort of like an ice pack.

I typically use Red Haven peaches for freezing since they don’t discolor as quickly, but really, almost any peach will work.  The orange juice concentrate not only adds a great flavor but the acid from it also helps keep the peaches from turning brown.

If you want to enjoy some fresh peach goodness in the middle of the winter, give this recipe a try!

Easy Frozen Peaches- recipe can easily be halved
20 lb. peaches (before pealing or cutting- whole peaches)*
12 oz. frozen orange juice concentrate
4 c. sugar

Peel peaches and slice into small, bite sized pieces.   Add orange juice concentrate and sugar.  Mix and let sit until dissolved.  Scoop into containers and freeze.  To eat, thaw slightly and eat slushy.

* I typically just put the peaches in a dishpan and then weigh them on the bathroom scales.

Yields: approximately 8 1/2 qts.

Linking up at Mostly Homemade Mom.

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Tasty Tuesday: Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bars

Tuesday, August 13th, 2013

I love all things cheesecake.   And while the real thing is scrumptious, sometimes these bars are just more practical- and equally scrumptious!  They don’t take long to whip together and they are perfect for potlucks and the like since they are easy to transport.  And the fact that they mix the flavors of cheesecake and chocolate chip cookies…what’s not to love?

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bars
3/4 c. shortening
3/4 c. sugar
1/3 c. brown sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. baking soda
12 oz. chocolate chips

Filling:
16 oz. cream cheese
3/4 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla

Cream shortening and sugars. Beat in egg and vanilla. Combine flour, salt and baking soda. Add to the creamed mixture. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Set aside 1/4 to 1/3 of dough for topping. Press remaining dough into greased 9×13 pan. (If dough wants to stick to your hands/spatula try greasing them.)  Bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes. Meanwhile mix filling (see instructions below). Spoon filling over crust. Drop teaspoonfuls of reserved dough over filling. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes or until golden brown. Store in refrigerator.

Filling instructions: Beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix well.

Linking up at Chef in Training, Living Well Spending Less and Mostly Homemade Mom.

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Tasty Tuesday: Best Ever SOFT Chocolate Chip Cookies

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013

I know that a lot of recipes claim to be the best, so I don’t use those words lightly, but these seriously are the absolute best chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever made.  Or for that matter, the best I’ve ever eaten.  (Sorry Grandmother, yours were really good too!)  And just so you know, I’ve tried dozens and have been on a search for the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe for the last 7 years.  This one finally ended that quest.

The thing about these cookies is that they are slightly crispy around the outside and just so soft and moist in the center- the perfect combination!  The key is the secret ingredient (the 7th listed) and not over-baking them.  They also hold their shape well and stay soft longer than most cookies I’ve tried, although truth is, they usually get eaten so quickly it’s kind of hard to tell.

Anyway, don’t just take my word for it, try them yourself.  But be prepared to eat a whole pan yourself.  Can’t say I didn’t warn you!  :)

Best Ever Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies
3/4 c. unsalted butter, softened
3/4 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. granulated sugar
1 egg
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 c. all purpose flour
2 tsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Cream butter and sugars together until fluffy and light in color; blend in eggs and vanilla.  Mix in flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt.  Stir in chocolate chips.  Drop by tablespoons onto a greased baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes, until slightly golden brown around the edges.  (The tops will not be brown, but that is okay.)  Let cool for 5 minutes before removing from baking sheet.
Yields: about 3 dozen
Recipe slightly adapted from Apple a Day.
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Tasty Tuesday: Bean and Sour Cream Enchiladas

Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

We love meat but since it can quickly get expensive, one of the 6 ways that I save on meat is to try to eat at least one meatless dinner a week.  Recipes like this Bean and Sour Cream Enchiladas make it easy to not mind doing that!  They’re filling, delicious and simple to make too.  Plus thanks to the beans you are still getting your protein.

The recipe that I adapted this from was incredibly spicy- so much so that you couldn’t really enjoy the flavors at all.  I kept reworking it and finally came up with this version that even the kids love.  But by all means, if you like spicy, up the cumin a bit and add in the cayenne pepper!

Bean and Sour Cream Enchiladas

ENCHILADA SAUCE
1 cup chicken broth
1 tbsp cornstarch
6 oz can tomato paste
1 tbsp. chili powder
¼ tsp. cumin
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)

Combine chicken broth and cornstarch in medium size saucepan; whisk until combined.  Turn to medium heat; add tomato sauce and spices.  Whisk together until combined.  Continue cooking and whisking until sauce reaches desired consistency.
ENCHILADAS
1 can refried beans (I use homemade)
1 c. sour cream
¾ c. onion, chopped
1 ½ c. shredded cheddar cheese, divided
½ package taco seasoning
10 tortillas
Mix beans, sour cream, onion, 1 cup cheese and taco seasoning until well combined.  Spread 1/2 c. sauce on bottom of greased 9×13 baking dish.  Divide enchilada mixture evenly between the 10 tortillas.  Roll up and place seam side down in baking dish.  Spread remaining sauce over enchiladas and top with remaining cheese.  Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

Linking up at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam, Mostly Homemade Mom, Buns in My Oven and Chef in Training.

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Tasty Tuesday: Crockpot Refried Beans (saves at least 50%!)

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

I recently discovered this recipe at one of my new favorite blogs, Pennies & Pancakes.  (Head over check it out- you’ll find lots of great stuff!)  I’ve always had this love hate relationship with refried beans.  I love them because they are so good and are an easy protein but I hated them because they had unhealthy things like partially hydrogenated lard in them and didn’t seem that good for you.  I’ve thought of making my own refried beans for several years and when I saw Pennies & Pancakes‘ recipe I knew this was the one to finally get me to make my own refried beans.  I mean it was too simple not to do it!

And trust me folks, not only are these beans incredibly easy to make, they are also just as good as their canned counterpart- and you can eat them happily knowing they contain only normal ingredients that you have in your cupboards!

Oh and they are quite a bit cheaper as well.  I can get 2 lbs. pinto beans at Aldi for $1.99.  I’m being generous and saying that the rest of the ingredients cost $0.51 for a total cost of $2.50.  That means you can make these Crockpot Refried Beans for just $0.42/can.  That’s almost half the price I pay at Aldi where they are $0.79/can and much less than you’ll pay at a regular grocery store.

Here’s Pennies & Pancaskes’ Crockpot Refried Beans recipe with my slight adaptations.

Crockpot Refried Beans
2 lbs. pinto beans
1 large onion, chopped
4 Tbsp. jarred minced garlic*
1 1/2 to 2 1/2 Tbsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
2 tsp cumin
6 cups hot water

* I typically use 3 tsp. granulated garlic

Rinse the beans and pick out any bad ones.  Put beans in large pot and cover them well with hot water.  Let set overnight.  In the morning, drain the water off and thoroughly rinse the beans.

(You can skip the above step but it aids with the digestion of the beans and allows your body to get more from them.  If you decide to skip it, use 10 cups of hot water instead of the 6 cups listed in the recipe and then cook them for 4 hours on high and 2 hours on low instead of the times listed below.)

Combine the beans and the rest of the ingredients in a large crockpot.  Cover and cook on high for 4 hours and then on low for 1 hour.  (If you cook for a couple of hours longer it doesn’t really matter.)  Remove extra liquid, leaving enough liquid to reach desired consistency when the beans are mashed.  (I don’t drain any liquid when I do the 6 cups water method.  But when I the 10 cups I typically drain some off.  It’s really a trial and error.)

Mash beans with a potato masher or blend in your blender.

Beans will store in your fridge for 2 weeks or you can freeze them too.

Yield: 12 cups or the equivalent of 6 cans

Linking up at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam, Chef in Training, Mostly Homemade Mom, Buns in My Oven, and Blessed with Grace.

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