Sunday, May 1, 2016

Caprese Gnocchi



One of my favourite summer salads is the simple but delicious Caprese. The fresh tomatoes, soft sweet cheese with the fragrant basil and tangy balsamic is just awesome.


This pasta combines a bunch of the components of a Caprese salad in warm wonderful comforting pasta.

I have been loving the crispy gnocchi lately, you can put just about anything on it and it is wonderful. But this lightly creamy pesto sauce is beyond.


What you need,

1 pkg. prepared gnocchi
1 tsp. butter
1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
4 tbsp. pesto homemade or store bought
3-4 tbsp. chicken stock
Fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
1 heaping tbsp. cream cheese spread
1 cup mini bocchini cheese
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes
Parmesan Cheese for serving

In a pan over medium heat melt the butter and olive oil.  Add the gnocchi and cook for 3-4 minutes per side until golden brown and crisp. Remove the cooked gnocchi to a plate and set aside.
Add the pesto, chicken stock and cream cheese to the pan. Stir until smooth and creamy. Add a little more stock if you think the sauce needs to be a little thinner. Season the sauce to taste with black pepper.

Add the tomatoes to the sauce and let them cook for 5 minutes or so until they start to break open.

Add the gnocchi back to the pan and stir to coat.
Remove from the heat and stir in the bocchini.

Serve right away with a shaving of Parmesan cheese.


This pasta was just lovely. The sauce is creamy and the gnocchi is crispy. The bocchini gets a little bit melty and wonderful. The tomatoes are perfect and sweet it really is a winner.

I will be making this again for sure.

I hope you like it as much as I did!

Jen



Sunday, April 24, 2016

4 Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies



My friend Brenda sent me a link to this recipe a couple weeks ago. I finally got around to whipping up a batch, man they are dangerously easy and so super awesome!


All you need is 4 simple ingredients that you probably already have in your house.


What you need,

1 box yellow cake mix
1 cup creamy peanut butter
½ cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
½ cup mini chocolate chips (now I realize adding these makes this 5 ingredient peanut butter cookie but I really like chocolate chips!)

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with a silpat mat.

In a large bowl combine all the ingredients. Using an electric hand mixer beat until totally incorporated. Stir in the mini chocolate chips if you are using them.

Roll the dough into 1 inch balls and place on the prepared cookie sheet. Use a fork to cross hatch each cookie.

Bake for 10-12 minutes. I like my cookies a little crisp on the outside but always chewy in the middle so I did mine for 9-10 minutes.

Let the cookies cool on the pan for 4-5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. 

Store the cookies in an airtight container for 3 days or in the freezer for a month.


I took some of these cookies to work and they got rave reviews!
So if you NEED a cookie, whip up a batch of these super easy, really quick amazingly tasty cookies.

Enjoy!

Jen


Sunday, April 17, 2016

Some of My Favourite Grilling Recipes

Hello all! It has been so warm and spring like here in the last few weeks. Just check out these lilacs! They are my favourite, ever!


This weather has made me want to grill all the things, so I thought I might share a few of my all time favourite grilling recipes off the blog.

I can't wait to make all of these again this spring/summer.

First up is this Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce
It is simple and beyond delicious! I love anything with peanut sauce.


How about these Barbeque Ribs. Oh man I am drooling over here. They do take a bit of prep but man are they worth it. Tender and crisp, and that sauce, oh that sauce!


This super quick Pork Chop Marinade is my summer go to. It adds so much flavour to a basic pork chop, I cook these chops a ton every summer!


If you are looking for a great side dish, to toss on the grill might i suggest these Tin Foil Potatoes. I have been eating them my whole life. They are perfection!


These Italian Grilled Sausages with Peppers & Onions are amazing, in fact I just made some the other night for dinner.  They always remind me of my Dad taking my sisters and me to the fair in the summer time.


If you want a slightly healthier option how about this Barbeque Chopped Chicken Salad. I am not sure it is really healthier but it does have lettuce in it! Serve it with a simple cheese quesadilla and it is a real treat!


This Grilled Chicken Cordon Bleu Sandwich is just delightful. Crispy chicken, melty cheese, Canadian bacon, I can't even...


This Barbeque Sauce is the best I have ever made, it is my go to. It is simple and tasty and great on chicken!


This Hoisin Grilled Chicken with Soba Noodles is my soul food. It is truly wonderful.


This last recipe isn't really barbequed but it does have barbeque sauce and really just look at it, it is a thing of beauty. Barbeque Pulled Chicken Sandwiches... I seriously have no words for its amazingness!
Make it, eat it, love it!


So there you have it, a few GREAT grilling recipes. I hope you try one or all of them soon, they are all really wonderful. I know they will all be making an appearance on my dinner table really soon.

Happy Spring!



Jen







Sunday, April 10, 2016

Steak & Mushroom Kebabs


It has felt more like summer than spring here this past week. I am totally not complaining, I will take all the warm sun I can get!

I decided to grill something for dinner last night but I wanted something a little different. I was just going to do steaks with sautéed mushrooms, which is always a summer favorite but then I thought why not turn it into a kebab, kebabs are fun!


I did a quick marinade for the beef and mushrooms, then grilled them hot and fast for a nice charred crust on the outside but the perfect tender medium inside. Man they were fantastic. These are going to be a summer staple for sure!


What you need,
For 2 people (4 kebabs)

1 large-ish strip steak, cut into 1½ inch pieces
8 medium white button mushrooms, stems trimmed
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup white wine vinegar
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
3-4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
½ tsp. season salt
½ tsp. fresh cracked black pepper

In a large zip top bag combine the olive oil, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, season salt and pepper. Give the bag a shake to combine.
Place the cut beef in the bag and massage it around well.
Let that marinate in the fridge for 1 to 2 hours.
Then, add the mushrooms and let that marinate again for another hour.

Thread the beef and the mushrooms onto the kebab holders, alternating the beef with the mushrooms; you will end up with about 3 pieces of beef and 2 mushrooms on each, depending on how big your kebab sticks are.

Heat the grill to high heat and brush the grate with a little oil.
Grill the kebabs for about 3-5 minutes per side depending on how well done you like your meat.

Let the kebabs rest for about 8 minutes before serving.


I served my lovely little kebabs with some boiled new potatoes with plenty of butter and dill, one of my all-time favourite summer sides!

Man, I hope this weather keeps up. I am so ready for summer!

Enjoy!


Jen

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Keeping Basil Fresh



I learned a little trick recently that has saved so much basil from an untimely death. If you put your basil in the fridge it gets all brown and icky. No one wants brown icky basil.

All you have to do is make your basil its own little greenhouse!


Put a couple of inches of water in a small glass. Pop your basil in it, cover it over with a large zip top bag. Set it on the counter and let it be.

Just change the water every day or two and your basil will be perfect for a week or more!


This basil is a whole week old! It is really amazing how great it works.
I just wanted to share that little tip… 

Have a great week everyone!

Jen