Thursday, February 17, 2011

Fresh Salsa

Who wants to know just how cool my dad really is? (this is where you raise your hand and say ME!!)
We went down to visit the family in Vancouver. We got there late Friday night. Late for me, anyway. 8pm. =) Randomly chatting with my father, I told him I was craving some home made salsa. They didn't have any. So GUESS what he did? He went to the store, bought all the ingredients, and at around midnight, he hand made, especially for me, this amazing fresh salsa. Yes. THAT'S how cool he is! Midnight!! 
This stuff is in-credible. Seriously. I am going to always have these ingredients on hand. It took about 15-20 mins including cleanup for him and my brother Andrik to make this. It made the perfect side to a bacon and cheese omelet. DELISH!!

Fresh Salsa, D. K. style

20 Roma tomatoes
2 large white onions
3 packs mint
1 bunch cilantro
3 limes
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt/pepper to taste (He used white pepper)

Chop everything small and combine! That easy!

Here's a photo of that amazing man meeting his third grandchild, Vienna Ruth-Marie!

P.S. Vienna is doing great! Getting so big!! 

Monday, February 7, 2011

Herbed Pizza Dough

I'm always on the lookout for quick dinners (in case you haven't noticed). Three kids under three is mighty crazy sometimes. Naptime is the best becuase, well, siiilence! And, it's perfect time to prep dinner. I love to make or prep before dinner if possible. well, with pizza that's totally possible! Bake the dough on the pan and let it cool..then just top and re-bake until cheese is melted! I also wrap the baked dough and freeze it to thaw + assemble pizza at a later date. Perfect.
Well, today Aerro decided naps weren't a part of his day, so he got to stay up and help. In his own words, it was way better then sleeping in that dumb old bed in his room. Hahaha...The best part about this recipe is it really IS quick and easy. You mix and bake right away. No worries about raising the dough, etc. though I'm sure you could do that route if you want.

Herbed Pizza Dough

4 cups unbleached flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 package yeast
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon sugar
2 cup warm water
2 tsp basil, oregano, dried garlic
Combine flour, salt, sugar, and yeast in a large bowl. Mix in oil and warm water. Knead until elastic, about 6 minutes or so. Spread out on 3 lightly oiled pizza pans or cookie sheets. (I always use cornmeal on the pan before I put the dough on) Top as desired.
Bake at 375 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes. 
Prick dough with a fork in several places and bake for 15 minutes and cool to top+bake at a later date. 
Favorite combinations in this house 
olive oil+roma tomato+fresh mozzarella balls+basil (best best best best best!!!!)
alfredo sauce+fresh garlic+grilled chicken strips+green peppers+mozzarella (Avoni's personal favorite)
ground beef+sausage+ham+pepperoni+green peppers+olives+cheese (guy pizza in my books)
sundried tomato+olive oil+garlic+grilled chicken strips+ fresh mozzarella balls

Pressing out the dough
 Really kneading that stuff!
 All sauced up! (my favorite sauce here)
 Note to self: Clothe child fully before taking photos... =)
 The finished child size pizza!

 The rest of the crusts are awaiting the husband to come home to top + cook =)

Taco Chicken (Salad)

Some nights, it's not fun to actually "slave" in the kitchen for hours attempting to make a large meal. 
Some nights, I want quick, easy, good, and good for you. my go-to for that.
Taco chicken. Good right outta the oven..
Cooled, cubed, and made into a super good black bean + taco chicken salad!
And the chicken refrigerates fabulous to eat the next day..or the next...or, well, you get the point! =)
I think it's essential to do your own taco seasoning like I posted -here- but you could use prepackaged stuff, too.

Taco Chicken

2 chicken breast
1 taco seasoning packet or recipe
1 cup salsa

Dredge chicken in taco seasoning to coat. Place in pan and pour on salsa. Cover and bake 350 for 15-20 minutes or until the center is no longer pink. Serve with more salsa, shredded cheese, sour cream, and whatever else you like. =)

As a Salad

Prepared Taco Chicken
Shredded lettuce
1 can black beans, rinsed until water is clear
Shredded cheese
Tortilla chips or strips
Equal parts Ranch and Salsa (I do homemade, both, 1/2 cup each)

Layer first 5 ingredients on plate. Mix ranch and salsa well and pour over salad. Mix to combine! 
See? How easy?!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Breakfast Quinoa

I just got a giant bag of Quinoa from Costco. Even though it looks like it's pronounced kih-no-ah, it's actually keen-wah according to Quinoa is an ivory colored seed grown in South America. It is a pure protein meaning it contains all the essential amino acids the body needs to repair and grow tissue. It's gluten free and it's high in iron and calcium, and is a good source of manganese, magnesium, copper, and fiber. So basically, this seed that acts like a grain in cooking is amazingly good for you. But can you make it taste good, too?? That's what I'm about to discover. This morning, we had it for breakfast. Was it good? Ohh yes, it was! It was made two ways. I only photographed the one, though. My kids loved it! Score. =)

Quinoa Pudding
1 1/2 cups water
3/4 cup quinoa
2 cups whole milk
2 ripe bananas
2 tablespoons white sugar
salt to taste
1/2 tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Rinse and drain the quinoa. Bring water and quinoa to a boil in a saucepan over high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat. 
Blend together the milk, bananas, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a blender or food processor until smooth. Pour the milk mixture into the saucepan with the quinoa. 
Place the pan over medium heat. Cook and stir until the mixture becomes thick and creamy, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in the butter and vanilla and serve warm. 
Maple Cinnamon Quinoa
2 cups water
1 cup quinoa
1 tablespoon salted butter
1/4 cup maple syrup

Rinse and drain the quinoa. Bring water and quinoa to a boil in a saucepan over high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat. 

Stir in butter, put on plate, and drizzle with maple syrup. Sprinkle lightly with cinnamon. I garnished with mini morsels. They just look so cute!!