Just a little ole working gal, who loves food

Monday, April 23, 2012

Mini Taco Cups

This is the BEST appetizer to bring to a party...hands down!! I swear cause who doesn't like tacos?
Especially tacos in miniature form! Trust me even the kids will love them (although I don't think any of the kids at the party I brought these to even had a chance to try one!!!)

 Brown 1 Lbs of extra lean ground beef, add 1 package of Taco Seasoning (or make your own with Salt, Pepper, Onion & Garlic Powder, Chili Power and Cumin) with a 1/2 cup of water. Simmer. 
 While the beef is simmering add a half cup each of Black Beans and Corn. Once all liquid has been absorbed set aside the beef mixture.
 Using a muffin tray place 1 Wonton wrapper in the tray.
 Place a second diagonally...press down lightly so they form little wonton cups
 Now add your filling...I used a spoonful of refriend beans.
 Then the beef, corn, black bean mixture
 Then a little spoonful of salsa
 A dollop of sour cream
 And topped with Shredded Cheddar Cheese...pop these in the oven at 350F until the wonton wrappers are nicely browned.
 Garnish with a few snipped chives
Totally drool worthy!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Veggie Garden Overhaul!!!

You may have noticed a new tab up top...thats right...I will be documenting my plans to overhaul a huge section of my property into a vegetable garden.

The garden will be built into the side of a hill...so it will be quite the process!! Keep on checking the "Veggie Garden Overhaul" page for updates each week on the project!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Turkey and Sweet Potato Sheppards Pie

This weeks recipe was actually inspired by my Lovely Sister in law! She is always creating new dishes and she totally inspired me to try out this dish she created a few weeks back...Thanks Janna!! It was amazing!!

 In a deep saucepan saute 1 Minced Shallot, 2 Minced Garlic Cloves and 1 Minced Medium sized Onion in 1 Tbsp Olive Oil.
 Once Onions start to brown add 1lb of Ground Turkey...saute until turkey is brown and cooked through.
 Add 2 Chopped fresh tomatoes (about 2 Cups)
 Add 1 Can of Drained and Rinsed Canned Lentils
 Add 1 Can of Peaches and Cream Corn...stir all this to combine.
 Add 1 Cup of Vegetable Stock and your seasonings (Salt, Pepper, 1 Tsp Paprika, 1 Tsp Thyme). Allow this to simmer while you prepare your Potatoes.
 Take 3 Sweet potatoes and pierce them all over with a fork. Place them in a deep microwavable container and squeeze the juice of 1 Lime over them. Seal the container with Plastic Wrap and Microwave the potatoes for 8-10 minutes. Remove from the microwave and check if the potatoes are cooked through...if not put them back in for a few more minutes. I like to leave the skins on...but it is optional.
 When the potatoes are cooked through mash them up.
 Add 2 Tbsp of butter, 1/2 Cup Milk, and 4 Tbsp of Sour Cream and Chive Cream Cheese. Season with Salt and Pepper and mash until smooth and creamy.
 Back to the meat mixture...after it has simmered for about 20 minutes add about 1 Tsp Cornstarch and warm water mixture to thicken up the sauce. Pour all the meat mixture into an oven safe casserole dish.
 Top with your Sweet Potato Mash and bake for 30 Minutes at 350F
Garnish with Fresh Chives and serve. Such a great and healthier alternative to regular Sheppard's pie. I suggest you try it ASAP!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Jerk Chicken

Lately I have been on a little bit of a Caribbean food kick (you probably noticed from my recent posts). And with Caribbean food comes a lot of SPICE!! Which I LOVE! Jerk chicken is the king of spicy Caribbean foods....and there are many many many different variations out there. This one is my favourite and it tastes sooo good without the spice being too overpowering! I tested it out on a couple friends who are headed to Jamaica this month....hopefully this lives up to the real stuff!

Take 6-8 Green Onions and chop them up...using both the white and green parts.

This step is very important...in order to get the real jerk taste..you need to use Scotch bonnet peppers. I used 2 and it was plenty spicy for me. Use rubber gloved when chopping up these babies...trust me.

 Next take about a thumb size piece of fresh ginger...you don't need to peel it or anything.
 Peel 2-3 large Shallots and about 5-6 Garlic Cloves.
 Lastly you will need a handful of Cilantro, 1 orange, juiced, and 2 limes, juiced.
 Assemble all the ingredients above in a blender along with 1 Tbsp Salt, 1 Tbsp Pepper, 1-2 Tbsp Allspice, dash of cinnamon and a dash of nutmeg. 3 Tbsp of Olive Oil and 3 Tbsp White Vinegar.
 Blend until Smooth
 Put your chicken (I used Legs and Thighs) in a large freezer bag and pour the marinade over it. Keep in the fridge for at least 24 hours...2 days is better.
 This is a great marinade to freeze as well. Just defrost and BBQ!
 When you are ready to BBQ the chicken, use indirect heat....meaning turn the heat on medium high on one side of the grill, and place the chicken on the side with no heat. Close the BBQ and let them slowly cook for about 2 hours...checking on it halfway to flip the chicken.
You will be left with perfectly moist chicken! Enjoy!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Cuban Rice and Beans

I love Caribbean food. I find it all to be warm, hearty and spicy...my favourite combination!
Unfortunately most people associate Caribbean food with what they eat at all inclusive resorts and Taco Bell. You need to get off the resorts and eat at small establishments at the side of the road in order to get the REAL STUFF!!

I had a variation of this rice when I visited Miami a few years back...it was at an authentic Cuban restaurant...where they only made home cooked Cuban meals. I had the BEST Cuban sandwich and this rice. This is my attempt at re-creating it...and I am pretty sure I have nailed it! I just need to get my Cuban aunt to try it to see what she thinks!

 Finely chop 1 Green Pepper and 1 Onion
 In a heavy bottomed pot (Cast Iron if you have it), drizzle 1-2 tbsp olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onions and peppers and saute until the onions start to lightly brown.
 Add 5 Minced garlic cloves, 4 tbsp Tomato Paste, 3 Tsp Cumin, 1 Tsp Oregano, 2 Bay Leafs and 2 Tbsp White Vinegar. Add a little salt and pepper as well. Let this cook with the onions and peppers for about a minute.
 Turn the heat down to medium/low and add about 5-6 cups of Vegetable Stock. Bring the mixture back up to a boil and add 3 cups of long grain rice. Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes or until the rice is halfway done.
 At the half way point add 1 can of rinsed black beans. I like to use the canned beans instead of the dried beans...more of a time saver than anything. Cover the pot again and finish cooking the rice until the liquid is absorbed (about 15 more minutes)
Fluff up the rice and beans and serve with a drizzle of good quality olive oil while still hot. So delish and simple to make! Enjoy!