Food

Deconstructed Mexican Street Corn

Remember that time I told you that you might get three posts in a week.  And then only got one? Blogging is hard these days.  I can’t even say I don’t have the time or energy.  I’m just lazy.  And I’d rather spend my evenings catching up reading about all of you than sharing my own boring daily haps.

We did manage to get out of the house on a week night (gasp!) with Edison to enjoy dinner with friends a couple weeks ago.  Having a kid that goes to bed at 7pm makes week night plans awfully challenging.  But, we made plans to be prepared – and though dinner didn’t start until 6:30, we managed!

It was so much fun to get out of the house and break up our routine a little bit.  Plus, Eddie got to meet three more of our friends!  I hadn’t seen them since before Eddie was born.  Yikes.  We literally had plans with two of them the week Eddie was born, but I wasn’t feeling so hot, so we canceled in hopes of doing it that weekend.  But then, Eddie had to go and be born on Friday and totally hijack our lives.  The nerve.

We then had plans with them to enjoy dinner in their new home a couple months ago and then Eddie had to go and get sick for like a month straight, so once again, we had to cancel.  I mean, the kid was literally shitting on people.  I can’t take my explosive baby into a new home!

But, we finally made it happen.  And it was so much fun.

In the spirit of Cinco de Mayo (since our dinner date was on May 5th!) we obviously had a Mexican themed evening.  As I was madly searching the interwebs for a stellar side dish to bring, I stumbled across this Mexican Street Corn recipe.  Yes, please.

I didn’t want the hassle of grilling corn, nor did I want to expect our gracious hosts to do it for me, so I decided I would just deconstruct it into a yummy side dish!

Deconstructed Mexican Street Corn - mwn

Deconstructed Mexican Street Corn

2 Tbs olive oil
4 c frozen yellow corn, thawed
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
3 Tbs crumbled feta cheese, plus more for garnishing*
2 Tbs mayo
2 Tbs fresh chopped cilantro
1 1/2 tsp ancho or guajillo chili powder
Juice from two limes
1/4 tsp salt

Heat oil in a large skillet.  Add corn and stir occasionally until toasted.  Add garlic and remove from heat to cool.

In a bowl, combine the toasted corn mixture with remaining ingredients.  Garnish with feta cheese.

You can easily adjust the amount of cheese, mayo, cilantro, chili powder, lime juice, and salt to satisfy your taste buds.  Enjoy!

*You could use cotija, but I couldn’t find it for the life of me.  Feta was a great sub!

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 I think this would be a great dish to bring to any BBQ this summer.  Lots of flavor and it can be served at room temperature!

 

Layered Taco Dip

Okay.  So, here’s the thing about this dip:

It’s easy. Like, so easy I actually had time to make it.  Take pictures of it.  AND blog about it.

Holy moly.

I know.

That’s pretty damn easy.

Before we get to that – how is everyone!?  I’ve totally dropped off the face of the planet.  I’m sorry (but, not really).  And don’t worry, I’ll have Eddie’s five month update coming this week.  Once I’m over the fact that Eddie is five months old.

Time is flying.

In a nutshell: life is busy. But, good.  Oh, so good.

Big E is healthy.  Big E is happy.  I still love my job.  Craig is still a superstar spouse (99.9% of the time). The dogs are still nuts.  Pretty much the status quo these days.  You might even get a third post from me this week to catch you all up.  Don’t hold me to it.

So.  This dip.  The dip that I slightly altered from this recipe.  I mean, it’s embarrassingly easy as it was originally posted, but I needed to throw this together in .005 seconds in order for Craig to take it Thursday night to a “party” where he watched the first round of the NFL draft with a bunch of other people that actually cared.  I guess Eddie and I didn’t care enough.  (In truth, I didn’t care at all.  In case you were wondering.)  But, it was good for him to get out of the house and be social without the little rugrat and his nagging wife.

Just in time for Cinco de Mayo!

layered taco dip - mwn

Layered Taco Dip
1 oz taco seasoning
16 oz refried beans

8 oz cream cheese
16 oz sour cream
16 oz salsa
small bag shredded lettuce
12 oz sliced black olives, drained
2 c cheddar cheese

Mix taco seasoning and refried beans together, set aside.
Blend together cream cheese and sour cream, set aside.
In a serving dish layer bean mixture, followed by sour cream mixture.  Pile on the salsa, lettuce, and cheese.  Finish it off with all the black olives your little heart desires.

And you’re done.

layered taco dip2 - mwn

Also – as a side note – those Tostito’s Cantina Thin and Crispy chips are my favorite.  So much crunch.  So light.  So delicious.  Quite breakable, but I manage, so I’m sure you can too!

Enjoy your Sundays, loves!

 

Creamy Cheesy Broccoli Soup [and other freezer meals]

Popping in real quick with a post I already had mostly written weeks ago. Pre-planning for the win!

Today is the first day I’ve felt like a normal human being since Eddie’s birthday.  I was up at a normal hour (without feeling exhausted), showered, got dressed in real clothes, and even ventured out to run some errands with my little man.  This afternoon we are heading to my place of work so he can meet all the friends he made while in my belly.

Before Edison was born, I took advice from many mamas and prepared some freezer meals.  I’ve been a little stingy with them.  And that’s dumb, because they’re there for us to eat, not hold on to – but I might “wish I had them later.”  Ya know?  ha.

I picked out 6 recipes to make.  We always have leftovers whenever I cook, so I knew that if I simply froze them into smaller portions, 6 recipes would really stretch.  And stretch they have!  And oh, the convenience.  And knowing that there isn’t a ton of preservatives in what we are eating.  Yes, it was a lot of work (and a bit of an investment) on the front end, but it has paid off ten-fold.  No doubt.

I simply “googled” popular freezer meals to compile the list here:
Chicken Enchiladas (different from my own recipe, I wasn’t sure how the condensed milk in mine would freeze…?)
Chicken Spaghetti
Sour Cream Noodle Bake
Slow Cooker Pepper Steak
Pesto Chicken Penne Casserole

And what has become our most very favoritest of all:

Homemade Creamy Cheesy Broccoli Soup.

Oh.  This soup.  Craig and I both enjoyed a bowl out of the pot before I froze the remainder of the first batch.  It’s so delicious.  And equally as delicious after it’s been frozen.

creamy cheesey broccoli soup - mwn

Homemade Creamy Cheesy Broccoli Soup
5 c chicken broth, preferably homemade (I used canned)
1 c onion, pureed or finely chopped
3 c finely chopped fresh broccoli
1 c chopped fresh broccoli, medium sized for texture
1 c grated carrots
3 large cloves garlic
1 bay leaf (I omitted, because I didn’t have one!)
1/4 c butter
1/4 c flour
1 c half and half
Dash of garlic salt
1 c shredded Gouda cheese
1/2 c shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Head on over to Happy Money Saver’s page for the how-to!  You won’t be disappointed!

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Another of our favorites is the Sour Cream Noodle Bake.  But, shhhhh – Craig doesn’t like sour cream.  So, I simply labeled it “Burger Noodle Bake.”  It’s delicious.  Craig loves it (so do I)!

I probably won’t be back before Christmas – so enjoy your time with friends and family.  We are lucky to have my parents in town from Texas to celebrate Eddie’s first Christmas with us.  It’ll be one for the books, no doubt!

What are some of your favorite freezer meals?

Pumpkin Chip Cupcakes with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting

We did Turkey Day easy this year – I didn’t bake the whole turkey and I didn’t bake the pumpkin pie.  Instead, for dessert we enjoyed Pumpkin Chip Cupcakes.  It’s based off of a recipe I got from a woman I used to work with.  We were actually really good friends for a period of time – until I got a job at a competitor bank – and well, you know, sometimes people take those things personally.  We’re Facebook friends still, does that count for anything?

pumpkin chip - mwn

Pumpkin Chip Cupcakes
1 3/4 c flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 eggs
1 c canned pumpkin
1/2 c vegetable oil
1/2 c honey
1/3 c water
1 c mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. Grease or line cupcake muffin cups.

In large bowl combine flour through nutmeg.

In separate bowl, combine eggs, pumpkin, oil, honey, and water.  Mix well.

Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients until just combined.

Fold in chocolate chips.

Fill muffin cups 3/4 full.

Bake 20-25 minutes.

Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 c butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla
2 c powdered sugar

Beat cream cheese, butter, and vanilla until fluffy.

Gradually beat in powdered sugar until smooth.

Frost cooled cupcakes.

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I’m now on day 3 of maternity leave.  And kind of over it.  I need a baby!

Winter Fruit Salad with Lemon Poppyseed Dressing

Six more days of work…6 more days of work.  My mantra.  Six more days given he doesn’t decide to make an early appearance, anyway.  I worked my last Saturday (it was insane) and spent the rest of my weekend being lazy.  I still managed to get some laundry done and other weekly chores, but mostly, Craig and I just enjoyed snuggles – from each other and the pups.

I’m really excited for this week – we have a lot going on, so hopefully it will go fast.  Between doctor’s appointments and Thanksgiving – we really don’t have a “normal” day ahead of us in the next 5 days.

I’ve been sharing a lot of recipes lately – I hope you don’t mind!  I wanted to get this one out there before Turkey Day, because I think it would be an awesome addition to any menu. I love this salad because there is some substance to it and will keep you full unlike some salads!

I got this recipe from a coworker I worked with at another financial.  She brought it for a potluck and it was a huge hit.  I recently brought it to pass at dinner with friends and it got a similar response.  Not difficult to throw together and super yummy!

winter fruit salad - mwn

Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c lemon juice
2 tsp diced onion
1 tsp dijon-style mustard
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 c oil
1 Tbs poppy seeds

In blender, combine sugar, lemon juice, onion, mustard, and salt.  process until well blended.

With machine still running, slowly add oil until mixture is thick and smooth.

Add poppy seeds and process just a few second more to mix.

Refrigerate until salad is served.

Winter Fruit Salad
2 bags romaine lettuce
4 oz swiss cheese, shredded
1 c cashews
1/4 c dried cranberries
1 apple, diced
1 pear, peeled and sliced

In large serving bowl, toss together the lettuce, cheese, cashews, cranberries, apple, and pear.

Pour dressing over salad just before serving.  Toss to coat.

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I’ll be back tomorrow sharing some his and her stocking stuffers – linking up with A Few of My Favorite Things!

Choc-Zucchini Cake

Yesterday was a much needed day off from work.  I’m not counting the days until I’m on maternity leave – I’m counting the minutes.  Perhaps the seconds.  My days have been dragging by.

The dogs spent most of the day mad at me, though.  It was the annual trip to the vet and they both had to get some shots.  I tried to make up for it with extra snuggles, but they weren’t having it.  I wonder if that’s what it will feel like when our little boy gets “too old” for snuggles from his mama.  Oh, the unexpected things your pups can teach you!

This recipe, like “my” French Dressing, comes courtesy of an ex-boyfriend’s mother.  Different ex, though.  I have a couple exes that came before my handsome hubby, but goldarnit, something good came of each of them – even if it was just a delicious recipe. 😉

choc zucc cake - mwn

Choc-Zucchini Cake
1/2 c vegetable oil
1/2 c sour cream
2 eggs
1/2 c butter, softened
2 c peeled, shredded zucchini
2 1/2 c flour
1 3/4 c sugar
1/2 c baking cocoa
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 c chocolate chips
1/2 c chopped walnuts*

Preheat oven to 350 and grease 8 c bundt pan.

Mix together oil, sour cream, eggs, butter, and zucchini.

In separate bowl, mix together dry ingredients (flour through salt) and optional walnuts.  Add dry ingredients to zucchini mixture and mix well.

Place 1/2 of the batter into bundt pan.  Layer chips and add remaining batter.

Bake 40-45 minutes.

*I chose to marry a man with a disdain for nuts in his baked food, so I omit them (unless I’m feeling a little feisty).

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Hope you all have a great weekend – I’ll be here, soaking up what could be our last weekend as a family of four.  #thanksgivingbaby

Homemade Applesauce [crockpot]

Well, hello.  I missed you all on Friday.  Truth be told, I had planned to participate in the Five on Friday linkup that I so love, but I didn’t have much energy to put anything together for it.  I have it half finished, so maybe that will be on the docket for this Friday!

It was a great weekend for us – Saturday we went to a breastfeeding class.  Craig wasn’t overly excited about attending, but he wasn’t the only partner present.  We learned a lot and Craig, especially, is now convinced that breast milk is the most precious commodity there is.  I think he left with his mind blown.  He also left with the understanding that it can be a super hard thing to do, so I anticipate that he will continue to be the great support system he has been throughout my pregnancy.

Craig had free tickets to the Badger and Packer game.  Both were pretty big games.  WELL, the baby doesn’t fit into my winter jacket and I’ve had some wicked sciatic nerve pain.  Metal bleachers and cold weather did not sound appealing.  He decided to forgo the Badger game (too bad, it was a record-setting game!).  But, I suggested he ask his sister to the Packer game.  So, I enjoyed my Sunday preparing blog posts and doing laundry, while he headed north for some quality time with his sister.  It was great!

Now that we’ve caught up – onto why were are here today!  Easy-peasy applesauce!

Woof.  How’s that for an awful picture.  “Falling back” has made it increasingly difficult for me and my amateur photography skills.  My yellow bowl is literally glowing.  Ha.  Oh well!

homemade applesauce - mwn

Homemade Applesauce [crockpot]
8-10 apples, peeled & cored
1/2 c brown sugar
1 – 2 Tbs cinnamon
1/2 – 1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 – 1 tsp nutmeg

Leaving apples in large chunks, place into slow cooker with sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg.  Mix to coat apples.  Cook on high for 5 hours.  Use potato masher or fork to desired consistency.

My recommendation is to start with 1 Tbs cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ginger, and 1/2 tsp nutmeg.  You can always add more for your taste, but you can’t take it back out!

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I’ll be back tomorrow for a Tuesday post!  Unusual, I know, but when there is a fun Tuesday linkup, you can’t say no!

Chicken Enchiladas

Hello, Monday, we meet again.  My weekends are always far too short when I find myself working Saturdays.  Happy news is – only one more Saturday shift before I’m officially on maternity leave!  Yay!

First things first: How about them Packers!?  I only bothered to watch the first half (42-ZERO at half!?).  At that point, I honestly started to feel bad for the Bears coach.  Poor guy.  I’ll never feel bad for Cutler, though.

Anyway.

So, after working Saturday morning, the afternoon was spent at Costco and Woodman’s in preparation of an evening in the kitchen.  That’s right, this mama finally got around to making some freezer meals!  This family won’t be going hungry once our little boy makes his appearance.  I’m anxious to see how they end up tasting.

But, before we find ourselves resorting to freezer meals, I’m doing my best to prepare fresh dinners.  If I’m honest, last week was an utter failure on that front.  I aim to make dinner 4 nights during the week – but last week, I managed to get one homemade dinner in.  And it was a roast in the crock pot.  Embarrassing!  But, I had something Tuesday-Thursday that kept me from taking that time.

These enchiladas are the creation of a college acquaintance.  They’re quick, easy, and delicious!  I need to keep the quick and easy part front of mind the next time I find myself thinking I don’t have the time to make a homemade dinner!

Chicken Enchiladas - mwn

Chicken Enchiladas
2 shredded chicken breasts
4 0z can chopped green chiles

1 tsp salt
1 can green chile enchilada sauce
1 small can evaporated milk
2 c shredded monterey jack cheese
12 flour tortillas

Spray a 9×13 baking dish.
Mix chicken, chiles and salt together in a bowl.
In separate bowl combine enchilada sauce and evaporated milk.
Dip each tortilla in mixture and fill with ~1/4 c chicken mixture.
Roll up and place seam side down in baking dish.
Pour remaining sauce over the top.  Top with cheese.
Bake 15 minutes at 425 degrees.

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Have a wonderful week, friends!

Easy Football Chili

My husband frequently “dines” on Chef Boyardee.  Can you call it dining if you question if it’s real food?

Anyway, just to clarify, when I say “Easy Chili,” I do not, by any stretch of the imagination, mean the Chili Mac you’ll find in our cabinets on a weekly basis.  Instead, I mean a one-pot chili recipe that is ready to go in just over an hour!  We enjoy this on a regular basis while cheering on the Pack on Football Sundays.

I also made this for a chili cook-off for a United Way fundraiser at work about a month ago.  Our staff is small (compared to other locations), so we only had 2 kinds of chili.  I was declared the “chili winner.”  If I can win the hearts of multiple men and women over with this pot of chili, I’d say it’s definitely worth a try!

Easy Football Chili - mwn

Football Chili
1 lb ground beef
1 onion
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 c tomato sauce
8 oz jar salsa
4 Tbs chili seasoning
15 oz light red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
15 oz dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

In large sauce pan, brown beef and onion.  Drain grease.

Add pepper, salt, tomato sauce, salsa, chili seasoning, and kidney beans.  Mix well and simmer for at least an hour.

Top with your favorites like cheese and/or sour cream!

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Hope you all have a great weekend!  Craig and I made a “to-do” list to get us through winter that includes quick things like installing a dimmer in the nursery to replacing windows and counter tops.  This weekend, that list begins!  Time to start knocking off some of the priority items (like the dimmer!) before baby makes his debut.  It’s crunch time!

Sloppy Joes [crockpot]

Happy Halloween, everyone!  I’m looking forward to seeing adorable babies you all are dressing up! 

When I was in college, for my 20th birthday, the only thing I wanted from my boyfriend was the cookbook, “Fix It and Forget It.”  Old soul?  I think, yes.  Thankfully, he delivered and I’ve enjoyed a number of recipes over the past 7 1/2 years.

I have a ton of recipes ear-marked to try, even all these years later.  Some have been total flops.  Ick.  But, others have become staples in our monthly menu.  This Sloppy Joe recipe is one that comes up about every two weeks.  It’s quick to prep the night before and delicious.

crock pot sloppy joes - mwn

Sloppy Joes [from Fix It and Forget It]
1 lb ground beef
1 onion, chopped
3/4 c ketchup
2 Tbs chili sauce
1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbs yellow mustard
1 Tbs vinegar
1 Tbs sugar
buns

Brown beef and onion.  Drain.

Combine all ingredients in the crock pot.

Cover and cook on low 4-5 hours.

Serve on buns.

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I cook the beef the night prior and get everything mixed together into the crock pot.  I stick the whole darn pot into the fridge – and in the morning it takes me 20 seconds to pull it from the fridge, into the heating element, and head out the door.

I’m a weekly meal planner and I plan for this meal on nights I know I have appointments, am working late, or have other plans.  Then I don’t have to “worry” about Craig getting dinner – he can come home and serve himself up a sandwich.

You’ll see that is says to cook it 4-5 hours on low.  I’ve had no problems letting it cook all day long.  If Craig happens to come home for lunch, I’ll ask him to give it a stir, but otherwise it just sits on low for 8 or 9 hours.  I just make sure the first thing I do when I get home is turn the crock pot to warm.  It gets a little “crispy” around the edges, but with a good mix, you wouldn’t know the difference.

I have tried making it without browning the beef – and it cooked up just fine, but the texture was a little bit different.  I didn’t mind it, Craig would rather have me brown up the beef beforehand.  Anything to keep him happy! 😉

I’ve had a number of different sloppy joe recipes over the years and this one remains at the top of my list.  Enjoy!